Friday, February 02, 2007

We're In The Money...

Long Islanders To See $3 Reduction In Monthly Electric Bill

Unless things change up in Albany, LIers will see about the same relief in their property tax bills

The governor has delivered his first budget address, proposing increases in aid to education and pumping more money into the STAR program, but just what will this mean in terms of real dollars and cents for Long Island's homeowners?

Will the Albany "steamroller" change the landscsape of inequity -- where upstate school districts receive upwards of 75% of their budgets in State Aid, compared to an average of 16% in State Aid for Long Island's school districts, or will we simply play Robinhood, taking from the "housing rich" school districts and giving to the poor?

And what of real property tax reform? Will we see another rebate check in the mail, or a restructuring of how we pay for local services, from schools to garbage collection?

It is for us, the homeowners and taxpayers, to take a long, hard and careful look at the executive budget, and to analyze each line, each item, each dollar. Who gets what, and at whose expense? How much will we pay out of our pockets, and exactly how much will come back to our communities?

They're already lining up in Albany, like those ducks in a row, to postulate and manipulate. The press releases will flow and the debate -- limited and futile though it may be by those three men in the room -- will follow.

We should take the time between budget proposal and budget adoption to stick in our two-cents. [On top of what we've already paid, that's a mere pittance!]

Like the three bucks LIPA says they're going to save us every month [we still remember when Richie Kessel was a consumer advocate], we fear that Albany's response -- whether from the governor's mansion or the legislative chambers -- will mean diminishing returns for Long Islanders, leaving our schools shortchanged, and our pockets still empty.

Between now and when the budget is adopted by the legislature, we have to do everything possible to assure that we Long Islanders get more, and are not getting stuck with more of the same.

Review Governor Spitzer's proposed budget -- listen to or watch his budget address [heck, at least read the press release] -- then contact your State Senator and Assemblymember and demand our fair share!

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