Gov. Spitzer's first state budget looks to cut property taxes and increase school aid

BROOKLYN - Governor Spitzer (D-NY) unveiled his first state budget plan Wednesday, pushing for property tax relief and an increase in school funding. The proposed $120.6 billion budget for the next fiscal year will increase school funding by $1.4 billion and provide $1.5 billion to cut property taxes for New York State residents. There are no tax increases in the budget. Spitzer says he will close tax "loopholes" and eliminate waste and fraud to accommodate the funding for his initiatives.The governor's plan looks to increase school aid by $1.4 billion, which would grow to an extra $7 billion by the 2010-2011 state fiscal year. His plan wants new guidelines to distribute school funds in hopes of ensuring needy schools see a larger share of resources. Spitzer says his plan also "provides overdue property tax relief to middle-class homeowners." His plan would seek to save middle-class families $6 billion over three years. Under his proposal, the state's debt would increase from $48.8 billion to $52.6 billion.

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