It is time for major reform.Everyone who earns a wage in New York State should be paying their share of the taxes needed to support our school system. A retired person or single person that never had children or are already grown shouldn't be held more accountable to pay school taxes just because they own a home or property.Everybody should be paying for school taxes at the same rate whether they are homeowners or not.When a retired person's income decreases dramatically,so should his taxes for schools but they don't because his property is still valued the same.How about finally doing something with the LOTTO money. New york State foisted that upon us back in the 1970's(?) as the best thing since the wheel. It was suppose to fix all our school problems. I know Governor-Elect Spitzer is not responsible for what happened back then but if he can correct this, I am sure all of his non-supporters would start thinking differently about him.
Hunger Action Network of New York State
It would be a great Idea for everyone who earns a living to pay school taxes in the city they live in. As it is, the burden is mostly placed on the home owner wether or not they have kids in the school system or not. There is a major failing in the present system, that failing is that while you're working and making a decent salary your tax amount is a certain number which continually increases year after year. When you finally retire and are living on a fixed income which is probably lower than the salary you were making, you're taxes are still increasing ..This leads to the selling of your home, moving to an apartment, or possibly relocating to other parts of the country away from friends and family. The STAR program is a joke..
There's a proven system for not only removing the influence of special interest money from the political process, but for allowing a wider range of voices to run for office. It's called Clean Money, Clean Elections. It was named this because it’s meant to clean up the corrupt yet legal campaign bribery that exists in our government today, which gives special interest donors tremendous influence over how politicians vote. As the cost of running political campaigns go up, the volume of us common folks’ voices diminish accordingly.
I am writing to recommend changes in the state elections system, including implementation of HAVA. There are already agencies such as the Department of Social Services and the SUNY System that can use their existing databases to ensure that minor mistakes on voter registration applications are updated to prevent rejection. The governor should also work to ensure that the Board of Elections database doesn’t establish unduly strict protocols that could be used to toss off qualified registrants such as requiring a middle initial. To precipitate meaningful participation to legitimize new voting systems, a three-week public comment period should be established. To improve voting day administration and decrease partisan conflicts, nonessential civil servants employed by the state should be given off primary day to work at the polls, seeing as they are already experienced and qualified to perform oversight duties.
Dear Governor Elect Eliot Spitzer:
I spent approximately 20 years of my career working in the State Medicaid Program operated by first the Department of Social Services and then the Department of Health. It is, without a doubt, the most bloated, cumbersome, inefficient system imaginable. Cost containment has been its recurring motto since 1969, yet nothing meaningful has been done to increase efficiencies, reign in costs and/or control fraud, abuse and overuse of services. Each and every year, Medicaid consumes more and more tax dollars, depriving many citizens of enjoying the fruit of their labors. Combine these costs with the dollars needed to maintain the public education system and you have effectively made NYS unattractive for new businesses, homeowners, retirees and recent college graduates who frequently look elsewhere for jobs despite graduating from our colleges and universities. And this does not even factor in all the other taxes imposed on citizens and businesses alike.
The Property Tax Reform Task Force (www.hvpropertytaxreform.org), to which I belong, as well as numerous community groups throughout the state have organized because the funding of schools from property taxes has created a situation where many New Yorkers have to choose between owning a home (often the one in which their family has lived for decades) and supporting their local school. Citizens should not have to make such a choice. We believe that our elected officials -- that means you, Mr. Governor -- should immediately (1) address and correct the school property tax funding crisis, (2) fund public education from state income taxes (instead of from property taxes), (3) create a school funding plan that provides a sound and equitable education for all New Yorkers, (4) provide funding for all mandatory programs imposed by the state upon local governments and schools, (5) produce a school funding plan that is equitable to all regions and allows for unique local conditions, and (6) contain costs of government and education, without which lasting reform cannot be achieved. There is considerable support for these principles. We only wait for a bold, courageous leader -- this means you, Mr. Governor -- to see that these principles are implemented. We are watching, and waiting.
New York state needs to regulate both the medical standards and care provided by its health care providers. Failure to do so results in thousands of medical accidents each year and excess amounts of money being spent on medical care.
Independent researchers and the public at large have long criticized New York State's disgraceful campaign finance system. Indefensibly high contribution "limits", coupled with disgracefully inadequate disclosure requirements and nonexistent enforcement, create a system that cries out for change.
Dear Governor-Elect Spitzer,
Dear Governor-Elect Spitzer,
It is true that the defense of the country is the primary responsibility of the Federal government, however the Governor of New York State must be cognizant of the fact that New York City is a target in a class of its own. Given the fact that a nuclear weapon has been, to this point, extremely difficult to manufacture or acquire, and because it is so destructive and therefore valuable to Islamic terrorists, it must be assumed that if such a weapon is acquired by terrorists they would not waste it on lesser targets. New York City has to be considered the primary target if such a weapon is acquired by Al Qaeda. New York State cannot remain passive to such a threat. Unfortunately, the threat is growing and may well be confronted during the next administration.
Eliminate local funding of education entirely and replace it with a statewide tax.