Seward on State Government Overhaul

State Senator James Seward had a guest column in the Observer-Dispatch yesterday.  Some quotes:
Homeowners in New York state pay the nation’s highest property taxes. Last year, despite my objection, the legislature made matters worse by enacting the largest income tax hike in state history, hiking health insurance taxes and raising fees on everything imaginable. It is time lawmakers end this disturbing pattern. Adopting a real cap on school property taxes and restoring the STAR tax rebate checks would be a start toward providing true relief for overwhelmed homeowners. Further, rolling back some of the extreme new taxes and fees adopted over the past two years would be an appropriate thank you for all New Yorkers.
While cutting state spending and reducing taxes will provide a solid foundation for overall recovery, the only way to truly revamp New York is through economic revitalization. Commerce-crushing policies enacted over the last two years need to be rescinded and replaced by new guidelines that show government’s willingness to partner with the business community and change our negative economic culture.
Seward called for the state to "consolidate redundant or underutilized state agencies."  It would be great to get a list of which agencies are in these categories.
He also called for a full assault on Medicaid fraud and other abuse.  Why does this come up over and over?  Again, can we just get a list so we can rattle people's cages about this?  Instead of a "full assault", how about we deal with, say, one issue of financial abuse so we can get some traction?  Then we'll come back for the next, rinse and repeat.
Also on his list: a state spending cap "to transform a culture of undisciplined state budgeting".  This is a great idea, but how do we get enough votes to make it happen?

Deep in the heart of taxes

Here's a good piece in the NY Post (by a Texas resident) that's ostensibly about (not) living in NYC, but has a lot to say about (not) living or doing business in NYS in general.  For example:

Texas creates jobs like a fiend, in part because businesses large and small have no worry of obstacles such as plaintiff-friendly courts, consumer-friendly regulators or oversight-friendly lawmakers. Pro-business isn’t just a mantra; they put it in the water.

Read it all (h/t Hot Air).  Yo, people in Albany!  Listen up.

And in a related story...

This piece is connected to so many topics, I can't even think of all the ways this post should be tagged. From the Poughkeepsie Journal (h/t Thomas Lifson at American Thinker):

WICCOPEE — In a stunning reversal, the frequently lauded and taxpayer-funded SpectraWatt Inc. has told the state it will close its solar cell plant starting in March and lay off 117 workers.

....Created with nearly $100 million in private and public investments and announced in April 2009, SpectraWatt ramped up quickly, creating jobs in the midst of high unemployment. It began production by March this year and became one of the brightest new lights in the Hudson Valley economy. Now it has blinked, and may well go out.

....The company said, "This action is undertaken in response to deteriorating market conditions resulting from a harsher-than-usual European winter causing a large drop-off in demand for solar cells.....


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