Compromise over Amsterdam solar
I recently attended the town of Amsterdam Planning Board meeting, at which the solar moratorium for the town was discussed.
Opinions of some board members and members of the public are to not allow any new solar within the town, which I feel is the wrong move since there are members of the public who feel the opposite about solar.
I believe the town board and planning board must compromise by still allowing solar farms, but with limits.
I’m an environmentalist and climate advocate, so I don’t mind the solar.
But I think the best way for the town to go about solar in the future is to limit farms to a specific zone, cap the size of the farm, for example at 5MW which are fairly small arrays, and require shading in the form of new trees to limit the appearance of the farm.
Solar has many benefits including reducing emissions, providing jobs, providing revenue for landowners, and tax revenue for the town.
On the other hand, I respect the opinions and concerns that others have on solar and that’s why I believe compromising in this way can hopefully create a balance between preserving the town and advancing a clean energy future.
Hurry on tax break for the unemployed
Today marks 34 days before the May 17 deadline for New Yorkers to pay their taxes.
Unlike the federal government, the governor and both majorities have not provided a tax break on the first $10,200 of assistance for 4 million New Yorkers who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Those who faced unemployment this past year through no fault of their own have been struggling to pay their rent and mortgages, put food on the table and provide for their families.
Many have no job to return to because their business went belly-up. On March 31, I put forth an amendment on the Senate Floor (S.5125A) to provide this break for the unemployed. It was voted down by the Senate Democratic majority.
It’s unconscionable the recent state budget continues to provide $420 million in film/TV tax credits for Hollywood billionaires, and other giveaways, but not one cent for those in economic turmoil.
The governor refuses to budge.
As May 17 approaches, both majorities should let their intentions be known one way or another so all can file their taxes in a timely fashion and allow this legislation to move forward to provide relief to these beleaguered workers.
The writer represents the 49th District in the New York State Senate.
Mobile betting a win for taxpayers, casino
It’s a great and historic day in New York for sports bettors.
Gov. Cuomo’s plan for mobile sports betting, which I supported when announced in January, is included in the 2021-2022 state budget passed by legislature.
The governor’s plan will bring in $500 million in revenue to New York state that is currently going to other states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
These states have had mobile sports betting since 2017.
The four casino operators will have skins affiliated at their establishments. This is a win-win for New York state taxpayers and Rivers Casino.
After years of fighting for mobile sports betting, I take great pride in it becoming a reality.
Gary A. Greenberg
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