CENTRAL SQUARE, NY – Republican State Senate candidate Dave Renzi made a tour around Oswego County Tuesday to talk with residents about his plans for the seat if elected this fall.
A native of Watertown, Renzi is competing against Senator Darrel Aubertine for the 48th District seat on the state Senate.
Standing on three major issues, Renzi talked one-on-one with a handful of residents in the town of Hastings, prior to visiting MimiÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s diner in Fulton. He met with taxpayers at the home of Mike and Linda Conley.
In the first of the three issues, Renzi stressed the importance of a meaningful property tax cap. Renzi said he believes state lawmakers need to address the issue immediately.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThey need to go back into session and do that immediately,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Renzi said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe need a property tax cap that is at or below inflation.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
The second major need, Renzi said, is for the state to put a stop to costly unfunded mandates to school districts.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe state continues to pass unfunded mandates and forcing homeowners to pay for them,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Renzi said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThat is a burden that is becoming too great. It is not something New York should be doing.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Renzi said that if initiatives come down to local school districts, they could come with a funding stream to offset those costs and stop passing those costs off to taxpayers.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt is not appropriate to put those costs on taxpayersÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ backs,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Renzi said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œMy proposal is not anti-schools or anti-teachers. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦ The most important part of education is the human component.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
One of the things that will bring that, Renzi said, is the creation of a state aid formula that gives Central and Northern New York schools their fair share of state funding. Another, he said, is to reduce the amount of wasteful spending that exists now.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe bottom line is that the state is not hearing our voice in Albany,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Renzi said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI am going to fight for what is fair and work to make them treat us like they would any other district in the state.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Mike Conley asked Renzi if he has allies in the Senate that he will join with for a stronger collective as he addresses the issues. Renzi said while he would be a part of the Senate Republicans, he has not put himself in a debtorÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s position.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI am an independent voice,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Renzi said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t owe anything to anyone in Albany. The only people I owe anything to are the residents of this district.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThere is a lot of dysfunction in Albany,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he added. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis district needs someone who will stand up to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“politics as usual.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Conley noted that his property tax increases are costing him an addition $200-$300 each month. Coupled with the rising costs of food, gasoline and other purchases, he said the burden is getting out of hand.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œBut our paychecks are not going up,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Conley pointed out.
Renzi said that a property tax cap, reduced mandates and a fair distribution of state aid will put more money in the pockets of taxpayers and benefit the area as a whole as people are able to put more money into their homes and into their community.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe governmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s responsibility is to create conditions for people to prosper,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Renzi said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThat is not happening now.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe need to make sure that mandate relief is a real mandate relief,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he pointed out. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI propose a true tax cap that will provide real benefits.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Renzi noted that New Yorkers pay the highest property taxes in the nation; 50 percent higher than the national average. He said that works against the benefits of the area.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI have an aggressive nature,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Renzi added. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI am able to go down there and fight to make sure that we are treated fairly. I will be an effective voice to fight and work through the politics and for the people of this district.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œNothing worthwhile is easy,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI have the political courage to go in and make those changes.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â