Contact: Bill O’Reilly, 212-396-9117 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOB COHEN OUTLINES MANDATE RELIEF PLAN TO SAVE
WESTCHESTER COUNTY SERVICES; PROTECT CLASSROOM DOLLARS
“We have no choice but to restrain this state mandate monster.”
Westchester–Aug. 6…Businessman and reform state senate candidate Bob Cohen (R-C-I), who has identified property tax reduction and mandate relief as essential to a healthy and more affordable Westchester, today outlined five attainable mandate relief goals that he will help deliver if elected to the senate. Mr. Cohen made his announcement in front of the Bronxville Public Library Monday, where he was joined by Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin.
“Right now, eight of every 10 Westchester tax dollars (82%) goes to something Albany forces us to pay for, and that percentage is rising” Mr. Cohen explained. “If this trend continues, Westchester will be forced to dramatically raise taxes — which we can’t afford — or cut into the very sinew of our social safety net, which we must not do. Our incumbent politicians created this untenable situation over a period of decades, and those of us with real world business experience must fix the problem before it gets worse.”
“Albany’s unfunded mandates continue to put enormous stress on the budgets of local municipalities across Westchester County,” Mayor Marvin said. “Here in Bronxville this past year we sent $3,205,376 to Albany and only received $64,713 back in direct State aid. That math just doesn’t add up. I applaud Bob Cohen for having the courage to tackle the 800 pound gorilla in the room – Albany’s unfunded mandates. I look forward to working with him to gain control of Albany’s out of control spending for the sake of all Westchester taxpayers.”
“Eastchester’s taxpayers can no longer afford to pay for unfunded New York State mandates,” said Eastchester Supervisor Anthony Colavita. “Unfunded mandates are forcing increased taxes, depleting resources, crippling town government functions and rapidly eroding the most effective and efficient level of government. We need Bob Cohen to end this madness and restore accountability, responsibility and confidence in our state legislature. Bob Cohen has my support and my vote.”
Mr. Cohen said that as state senator, he will:
1. Let school districts and municipalities shop around for the best prices. Right now they are forced to use “preferred source vendors,” which adds to costs;
2. Have the state take over local costs and the administration of Medicaid;
3. Allow providers to opt out of federally optional Medicaid services;
4. Save millions on printing and postage by allowing electronic recording and storage of documents by county clerks, school districts, and state agencies, and
5. Allow municipalities and school districts to post official notices on the Internet.
“These mandate relief items are just a beginning, but they are necessary and achievable,” Mr. Cohen continued. “The property tax load on Westchester families is unbearable, and at the same time our discretionary dollars are being confiscated in larger and larger chunks by state mandates. We have no choice but to restrain this state mandate monster before it gobbles up all of our local resources.”