Steck’s budget plan makes more sense than the governor’s
On behalf of the over 31,000 union members of the Schenectady Area Labor Council, I’m writing to express our support for Assemblyman Phil Steck and his opposition to the “tax freeze” proposal from Gov. Cuomo.
The proposal pits taxpayers against their local elected leaders as adversaries in a battle to force shortsighted austerity measures, yet it fails to actually address any of the root causes for high property taxes. What’s worse, this proposal completely abdicates any responsibility to acknowledge massive cuts in state support for local programs and how those cuts are driving up costs.
We need real solutions to the problems facing our municipalities, not more cuts to public funding structures reflected in the governor’s budget proposal.
Assemblyman Steck has proposed a bill (A8410) that would generate over $6 billion in state revenues each year by simply ending the absurd practice of rebating 100 percent of the stock transfer taxes collected by New York.
When posed with the alternatives of closing tax loopholes and generating revenue for vital public services, or playing election-year politics with our tax code and giving away taxpayer resources to those who need it least, it’s a pretty simple decision for working families in the Capital Region.
The writer is president of the Schenectady Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
Misguided raffle of rifle by Troy church
What would Jesus shoot?
Well, if he lived in Troy, it might be a Smith & Wesson M&P AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. That’s because the Grace Baptist Church there is raffling one off to raise money [March 7 Gazette].
Its minister, the Rev. John Koletas, justifies it as “the right thing to do” and quotes the Bible to back him up.
I recall that David did all right with just a slingshot. Imagine what he could do with an AR-15. And doesn’t the same Bible say something about turning swords into plowshares?
Maybe Charlie Muller of the Victory Christian Church should buy a raffle ticket. He and his church are trying to get weapons off the street.
Richard W. Lewis Jr.
Downsized paper lacking in news, sports
As a lifelong Gazette subscriber, I am disappointed in the reduced local news and sports content since your reformatting.
Local news reporting has definitely decreased, and I’m sure there are plenty of Yankees, Mets and Red Sox fans who would love to see at least a spring training recap or box score every day.
Enlightened stance on time changes
Hoorah! You finally wrote an editorial we all can agree on, “Spring forward and stay there!” [March 8 Gazette]!
As for children going to school in the dark, why not start at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.? They’re half asleep anyway, especially when Little League starts. Besides, the school buses won’t interfere with people going to work!
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