Obama, Clinton face off: will AIDS make a difference
ALBANY (January 17, 2008) -- Over 100 community, religious, education, labor and human services organizations from throughout New York State have issued a joint statement today calling upon elected officials to make “better” choices in the upcoming budget debates.
The joint statement of support was issued today at a press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Albany. The endorsing organizations, representing hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, called for a fair budget that invests in New York’s working families. The Better Choice Budget Campaign began in 2002, and for the past 6 years has been calling upon state leaders to raise revenues in a reasonable and responsible manner and to end the special treatment of the favored few. The groups have urged the governor and the legislature to provide property tax relief in a balanced manner by restoring revenue sharing with local governments, creating a property tax circuit breaker program to replace the ill conceived STAR rebate checks, and restoring progressivity to the personal income tax so we can ensure that the wealthiest New Yorkers pay their fair share of state taxes.
The coalition released a 6-point platform that supported:
- Closing loopholes that allow large, profitable corporations to avoid paying their fair share of state taxes.
- Stopping sweetheart deals with high-priced consultants who are being overpaid to do jobs that state workers can do better and cheaper.
- Lowering drug prices for state and local governments by using New York’s purchasing power to get a fair deal from the drug companies.
- Reforming economic development programs by improving the effectiveness and accountability of Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs), the Brownfield Clean Up Program (BCP) and the Empire Zones program.
- Enacting the Bigger, Better Bottle Bill and making the beverage bottling industry return unclaimed bottle deposits.
- Making New York's tax system fairer and more equitable by increasing the top marginal tax rates on the highest income households.