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For Immediate Release

Tax Cap is New York's Most Important Issue in Decades. This Legislation Must Pass.

Deer Park, NY - The Conservative Society for Action (CSA), a grassroots organization with more than 5000 members, calls the 2% Tax Cap proposal the "most important issue New York has faced in the last 20 years."

The tax cap will offer relief to hard-pressed home owners who are now facing serious decisions about where they want to live or can live. For younger people who might one day want to own a home, high property taxes make it less likely they will qualify for a mortgage or that they would even want to accept that burden.

A Tax Cap will send a loud message to all New York State residents that we are finally serious about tax relief. It will send a message to small businesses that you can open shop here and be confident that increases in your property tax bill will be reasonable, even if school boards, county governments or state bureaucracies can't control their urge to spend.

Now is the time to make it happen.

Talk from Albany, however, is very disturbing.

The New York State Senate passed its version of the Tax Cap and the Assembly is now "debating" the issue. We have heard from dozens of representatives from both the Assembly and Senate stating that "we will have a cap". The problem is that there is no bill in the Assembly and talk from the Senate side is less than comforting.

"If we can't pass a tax cap during the most difficult economy since the 1930s," said CSA founder Stephen Flanagan, "then we can only conclude that all the talk by Senators, Assembly members and the governor's office has been intentionally deceiving. We won't stand for that."

According to CSA, there are only three people needed to make this deal, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly majority leader Shelden Silver and Senate majority leader Dean Skelos.

Cuomo is on record in favor of the Cap and is touring the state right now supporting his tax reduction agenda. Sheldon Silver wants legislation to extend Rent Control Laws in New York City and has indicated he'll support the Tax Cap if the Senate supports his Rent Control proposal. So far, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has yet to agree to this compromise.

CSA's response?

"Make the deal", said Flanagan. "The property tax crisis must be addressed, even if it means making a compromise deal on the New York City rent control issue."

CSA has been in contact with dozens of elected officials, has held press conferences and has traveled to Albany in support of the Cap. "We have worked hard to elect representatives who will work for Long Island taxpayers," said Flanagan. "We expect ALL Long Island and suburban representatives -- both Democrat and Republican -- to support the Cap. The future of Long Island and New York State hangs in the balance. No excuses will be accepted and we will make sure everyone who succeeds or fails in this fight will be recognized appropriately for their part in the battle."

Arguments by school district officials that "mandate relief" is more important that the Tax Cap are intentionally deceptive. School districts want residents to believe it is the "big bad State" that causes budget increases. This is not the case.

In fact, the teachers union and school administrators love mandates. It allows them to spend your money and blame it on someone else. In fact, they support mandates and they advocate for mandates. State mandates are a main source for additional teacher jobs and administrative positions. If the State does not support mandates, districts and teachers will. They just won't be able to blame the State.

"Mandate Relief" does not mean "Tax Relief". This is a big lie. Don't fall for it.

OtherIssues Related to the Cap:

Everyone seems to agree that school budgets must be brought under control. In order to proceed, we need to acknowledge what we already know about the Federal Government: We do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. A Tax Cap will impose fiscal responsibility on school districts.

The Tax Cap will result in meaningful reductions in Administrative costs for our school districts. The number of assistant superintendents and other administrators has skyrocketed in recent decades. One superintendent even admitted he was creating a superintendent's job because he "needed to provide advancement" for one of his senior administrators. The job did not previously exist and was created for him.

CSA does NOT support forced consolidation of school districts, but does advocate for consolidation of administrative functions. The New York City school system has 1.3 million students and one Chancellor. Long Island has 1.2 million students and 120 superintendents. There is no reason that school districts can't be managed on a regional basis. Why not have one senior management staff for all school districts in each of our Towns or Counties?

As for teachers jobs and salaries, CSA knows this is a contractual issue and will continue to be a contractual issue. We do, however, object to press characterizations of teachers "taking salary cuts" while continuing to receive their annual step increases based on years-of-service. Very few citizens who read headlines in Newsday about teachers "freezing" their salaries realize that a "zero" increase means a 3.5% raise because of the step system. Transparency is necessary if we are to truly turn Long Island around.

One last point. Many other states in the Union have initiated a property tax cap. Despite cries of disaster by schools and communities in those states, the opposite has happened. Spending on education in Massachusetts (2% cap) continued to increase way beyond the rate of inflation.

The clear and loud message that New York State is serious about tax relief will attract new businesses and jobs, and at the very least, will help our young people remain here so our communities can thrive once again.

About CSA:

The Conservative Society for Action is a grassroots political action organization with 5000+ members, mostly on Long Island. The organization formed in October 2008 and has held hundreds of rallies and other events since then. CSA has lobbied all levels of government and has been instrumental in dozens of local, state and federal elections. CSA held the nation's first Congressional town hall protest in June 2009 which inspired the rest of the nation.

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Political Action

CSA Founder Stephen Flanagan discusses "Effective Political Action."

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"Do not blame Caesar, blame the people of Rome who have so enthusiastically acclaimed and adored him and rejoiced in their loss of freedom and danced in his path and given him triumphal processions.

Blame the people who hail him when he speaks in the Forum of the "new wonderful good society" which shall now be Rome's, interpreted to mean "more money, more ease, more security, and more living fatly at the expense of the industrious".

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Socialist Candidate for President of the United States 1944