Renzi Faults Opponent’s “Downstate” Agenda

Submitted article

In their second “Town Hall” forum, State Senate candidate Dave Renzi tonight drew sharp contrasts between his ideas to bring tax relief and good paying jobs to Northern and Central New York, and his opponent’s plans — largely drafted by downstate Albany politicians — that don’t deliver for local voters.

On issues from lowering taxes tax relief to school aid and providing relief from high heating costs, Renzi showed how his opponent’s efforts could actually harm the North Country, while delivering more benefits downstate.

“On issues like property tax relief, home heating aid, and providing state funds for our schools, my opponent’s efforts are generating a windfall for New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley, while hardworking taxpayers in our district get handed the bill,” said Renzi.

“That’s because most of the proposals embraced by my opponent were written by downstate career politicians to benefit their communities, and he has simply gone along without ever standing up for us,” said Renzi.

Aubertine’s plan: Higher taxes for our community

On property tax relief, Renzi supports Gov. Paterson’s plan to “cap” annual tax hikes, plus additional mandate relief and a more fair distribution of state school aid to help lower taxes. His opponent’s plan eliminates STAR rebate checks, provides greater tax relief for people who live in larger, more expensive houses, and actually raises taxes for 800,000 Upstate families. That plan was drafted by a State Senator from The Bronx.

Less aid for our childrens’ schools

Renzi support fair distribution of state school aid, so that every school has the resources it needs without resorting to higher taxes. In the Senate, his opponent voted to cut school aid to six of 10 districts in St. Lawrence County — Edwards-Knox, Canton, Gouverneur, Morristown, Hermon-DeKalb and Hammond — and contributed to a $10 million property tax hike for homeowners throughout St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Oswego Counties. In the same budget he supported, districts downstate saw a whopping $400 million increase in state aid, helping those district hold the line on property taxes. The budget was largely written by lawmakers from the New York City region.

No relief from the cold or high debt

This week, Renzi outlined a plan to bring more relief to Northern and Central New York homeowners from soaring heating bills by factoring in regional differences in weather and fuel costs, providing tax rebates to help homeowners with high heating bills and to promote weatherization and increased federal aid. His opponent favors a plan to add $1 billion in state debt to promote home conservation, and grants only for homes that heat with fuel oil — leaving about 2/3 of North Country homeowners in the cold. That plan is sponsored by a Senator from Brooklyn.

Failing on jobs

Renzi also used the “Town hall” meeting to discuss his plan to bring new jobs to the region through a series of tax credits for every new job created, and a commitment to keeping more of our low-cost, home-grown energy in the region to attract new industry. While his opponent made job creation a central theme of his last campaign for State Senate, he failed even to introduce the bill that was to be the centerpiece of that plan, a measure to stop companies from outsourcing work to other countries. Meanwhile, St. Lawrence County has the second-worst unemployment rate in the state, after The Bronx.

On taxing and spending

Renzi supports a spending cap to limit the growth of the state budget and has outlined several proposals to lower taxes. His opponent has voted 32 times for higher taxes, increased state spending by more than $35 billion and, with the state facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis and Wall Street in a financial meltdown, twice voted just this year to increase state spending by nearly double the rate of inflation.

“Being content with the status quo is not good enough when our communities are in need and our families are struggling. I will be a different kind of Senator who will stand up for the citizens I represent, and deliver real results for our communities,” said Renzi.