Opinion: Governor fails to mention unfunded mandates, Colton man says
Friday, January 12, 2018 - 8:13 am

To the Editor:

In his recent State of the State address, Governor Andrew Cuomo has shown that not only is he content to grind down NYS homeowners by forcing them to bear the cost of Albany's infamous unfunded mandates, he must try to make fools of us as well by suggesting that exorbitant property taxes are the result of the federal government's recently-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The governor mentions in his address that the state is facing a budget deficit of $4 billion. He does not mention that $4 billion would pay for just over a mile of subway track in just one of his current boondoggles, the MTA’s East Side Access project, whose cost per mile of track is $3.5 billion, seven times the global average, according to a recent report in the New York Times.

Nowhere in his address does the governor mention the unfunded mandates. His solution to high property taxes? Local governments must reduce costs! This will supposedly result in more than $200 million in savings in 34 counties.

To put things into perspective: $200 million would pay for about 300 feet of track in the governor's East Side Access project. The entire 2018 budget of St. Lawrence County, a little over $230 million (most of which is devoted to paying for Albany's unfunded mandates), would pay for approximately 350 feet of track.

And the East Side Access project is just one of the governor's many extravagancies.

And yet, even as property taxes continue to rise, and despite his unbridled profligacy and his indifference towards homeowners, the governor and his party continue to enjoy strong and vocal support in St. Lawrence County.

Kevin Beary