NEW CASTLE, N.Y. -- During a town board meeting Wednesday night, Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R - Goldens Bridge) gave the New Castle Town Board a snapshot of major actions taken by the 2011 legislature from January through June. According to Castelli, 2011 was a milestone for the New York State Legislature.
From strengthening our states ethics laws to making Albany more accountable to the taxpayers, to enacting sound environmental policies related to hydrofracking, this years legislative session contained a number of notable accomplishments, Castelli said. This session was 100 percent better than the first, but having said that, its only 50 percent of where we need to be.
During Castellis presentation to the board, he touched on issues such as the passage of the property tax cap that, he said, allows Westchester County homeowners and renters to afford to live in their homes during difficult economic times, a mandate relief that will offer some relief from what he said are the highest taxes across the region, and a rent stabilization legislation to cap the amount tenants will pay for their apartments.
Castelli also discussed the effects of Tropical Storm Irene and said he thought the county was unprepared.
The response by our public utilities has left much to be desired, he said. While we all understand that this is an unprecedented situation, in the months ahead, a task force should look into why they were not adequately prepared for this situation, their protocols and procedures, and measure their response and efforts to restore their transmission and distribution lines following the storm.
According to Castelli, the passage of the property tax cap, some unfunded mandate relief, and the first major rent-cap measure since the mid-1990s will go a long way toward making Westchester County a more affordable place to live.
We set the right tone this year for a state that is facing a serious economic crisis and taxpayers who have had enough of Albanys fiscal incompetence, he said. I look forward to continuing to work with the governor and my reform-minded colleagues in both Houses and on both sides of the aisle in the weeks and months ahead.
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