http://www.newrochelletalk.com/files/180C12E6-2B19-4AA6-AECA-B35AA379253..." alt="180C12E6-2B19-4AA6-AECA-B35AA3792538.jpg" vspace="10" hspace="10" border="0" width="134" height="200" align="left" / In general terms Assemblyman George Latimer spoke of the realities of the New York State budget in these trying financial times. The state budget reflected the downturn of the economy. State revenue has dropped and there was a gap in the budget of 17 million when the Senate voted.
The federal stimulus which is being used to ease budget shortfalls has strings attached. Spending cuts were proposed for health care and "emotional ads" were used to influence legislators to try to lessen these cuts. Some prisons were closed and transfers of prisoners were made to fill up other prisons. Five billion dollars additional in income taxes was projected by taxing those making over $200,000 in income (or $300,000 for couples filing jointly). An attempt to gain concessions on pay raises was rejected by the unions, consequently the Governor said he will lay off workers. Latimer emphasized it takes nine separate votes to settle the budget. He voted against most of the proposed budget, citing as an reason that a business can easily move from Rye to Greenwich to obtain lower taxes.
The MTA bailout for its two billion dollar gap is an example of New York City's legislators' winning and not allowing free bridges in New York City to install tolls. In New Rochelle a bill was introduced to impose a hotel tax which could create a quarter of a million dollars in revenue for the city.
Questions followed. The Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has not been reauthorized. Latimer agrees that the New Rochelle City Council should be able to authorize tax abatements. Salary negotiations before a school budget vote may be problematic. Robert Cox clarified that when a school budget is defeated, the school district can modify the budget, put the same budget up for a vote, or go directly to a contingency budget. Rent guidelines were discussed and Latimer expressed interest in meeting with renters in the Pelham Road area. Latimer said he had voted for same sex marriage because he felt a "slight majority" of residents in his district were in favor of them. He felt civil marriage "is not a conveyance of religious beliefs." The Star program would continue, but not the rebate. The meeting took place on May 28. the next meeting is on June 25.