Accorsi was credited with pinpointing sure fire NFL stars like John Elway and most recently, eight years ago with Eli Manning. It was a safe bet to say no one could make a mark like Accorsi in New York.
I think people in neighboring states could hear New Yorkers breathe a collective sigh of relief this past week as we finally began to see the effects of our new tax cap. More than anything else, property taxes have been the overriding issue in New York for many years, especially since they’ve grown on average more than 6 percent a year for 10 years, double the rate of inflation.
So, after leading the nation in runaway increases for so long, we finally hit the brakes in 2011 with a tax cap that had bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature. With limited exceptions, it holds increases in school and local property taxes to 2 percent a year, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.
Editors note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife Grace, founded The Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace have lived in Mineola for 58 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
Mineola is the home of William Donohue, the head of the Catholic League. He is a big, friendly Irishman, but if he feels that the rights of the church are under attack, he turns into a fierce opponent.
Right around this time every year, burgeoning college football players are setting up interviews, attending charity functions, performing at the NFL Scouting Combine and showcasing why they should be considered the next big thing until the NFL Draft. There are agencies out there that prepare, coach and mentor them for the exposure, the limelight and the glamour.
But there’s one thing that takes players back to their senior year of high school, an essential SAT for draft-eligible football players—the Wonderlic test.
Each day, including weekends, I receive emails from the Senate Communications Office that contain news stories from media outlets around the state. The emails cover just about everything that would be of interest to state senators and we’re asked to review them to keep abreast of developing issues. I actually kind of enjoy reading most of them. It’s like having all the key issues conveniently delivered every morning and it makes my job that much easier.
Most news “trends” come from unplanned events or circumstances. For example, a hurricane will naturally trigger stories for several days on emergency preparedness or our lack of it. But I’ve been in politics long enough to read other stories and decipher that something’s happening behind the scenes, a story behind the story. These seemingly innocuous items are gently spun into the news stream to slowly start beating the drum of support for some upcoming issue or agenda.
New Yorkers said, “Play it again, Sam,” and we did. For the second consecutive year, your state government produced an on-time budget that puts the breaks on state spending and does not increase taxes or fees. You heard that correctly: holds spending in check with no new taxes or fees.
We had been working very hard, noses to the grindstone, but frankly, I thought there’d surely be some last-minute hitch that would send us back to the drawing board. It’s always difficult reaching consensus in a state as large and diverse as ours. Thankfully, nothing so difficult materialized and we moved forward with not only an on-time budget, but a responsible one as well. However, before I highlight it, I’d like to share why this is so significant.
It started out simple enough. Since taking office I’ve had a small but steady stream of constituents who seek help with various mortgage and foreclosure problems. I regularly connect them to appropriate state agencies and having heard back about a number of successful resolutions, I decided to host a local seminar for anyone experiencing similar issues. I invited the New York Attorney General’s (AG’s) Office, the state’s Department of Financial Services, and even some of the larger lenders.
Last year, my son decided to leave his bachelor life behind. He moved in with his longtime girlfriend – now fiancée! – packed up his apartment in New York City, and bought a house back in the Glen Head neighborhood where we raised him. I couldn’t have been happier.
As you know, he’s the exception. Hordes of young people are leaving Long Island and not coming back: a lack of jobs, affordable housing, and entertainment are luring them away: to Brooklyn and Queens, to other parts of the country, and to strange places like Manhattan.
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