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County Executive Rob Astorino Says State Budget Lacks Structural Reform

Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- County Executive Rob Astorino reflects on the passing of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2015-2016 budget.

A state budget that raises spending, lacks even minimal structural reform, and includes tax breaks for yacht sales makes me wince as a New Yorker. Clearly there is a disconnect between what middle class taxpayers are experiencing and how Albany sees things.

Middle class families are voting with their feet in moving to more affordable states, while Albany continues to vote in favor of the loudest and best-heeled special interests. That's how we end up with the highest taxes in America and the worst business climate.

This is a status-quo budget that will maintain New York's downward trajectory. We needed vision and bold reform.  We got busines as usual -- again.

"The goal should be crystal clear:  We should be working toward making New York the most competitive state in the Northeast -- instead of one of the least competitive states in America -- to attract jobs, increase revenue, and stabilize our population. That requires smart and systematic spending reductions and tax, mandate, and regulatory relief. It takes a comprehensive plan, not a mishmash of economic development gimmickry.

More than 100,000 New Yorkers will leave the state this year in search of a better bargain elsewhere.  Sadly, there's nothing in this budget that will convince them to stay.  No game changing reforms, no mandate relief and no real attempt to get the types of costs down that would make the state more friendly to middle class families, seniors, and businesses.  It bears repeating that Florida, which recently surpassed New York in population has a state budget half the size of New York's.

Cuomo will cheer his on-time budget. But reform will come too late for millions of New Yorkers, including 60 percent of New Yorkers over age 50, now eying life elsewhere

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