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Colin Schmitt on the issues important to his campaign

Statement from Assembly Candidate Colin Schmitt on Times Herald-Record Editorial

Today, the Times Herald-Record wrote an unfounded and factually incorrect editorial without soliciting input or a response from either my campaign or the Town of New Windsor. 

Without question, this was an unseemly attempt to assist my opponent’s struggling campaign for the State Assembly. 

Given the strength of our campaign, however, and the unprecedented depth of support we have received from small business, organized labor and community associations, this shameless effort to undermine our campaign and mislead voters will not work.

As New Windsor Town Supervisor George Green stated, the final town budget will remain well within the state property tax cap this year—as it has for several years. 

The material referenced by my opponent and the Times Herald-Record editorial was simply a preliminary document, without any legal force or effect. While New Windsor will continue to benefit from sound fiscal management, the state continues to deal with mounting budget deficits and even eliminated the property tax freeze program for municipalities that remain under the state property tax cap.  

While New Windsor and other towns work to keep property taxes low, the Democratic leadership in Albany has eliminated the extra assistance that New York State’s beleaguered property taxpayers need. 

In addition, both my opponent and the Times Herald-Record improperly manipulated an old quote of mine regarding the tax cap. 

To be clear, I fully support the tax cap and I always have. It has been a force for good helping to reign in property taxes. 

That said, I strongly believe that the state must do more to actually reduce the property tax burden, as opposed to just limiting future growth. 

Property taxes have been too high for too long and we must do more to help struggling seniors and families. Local governments cannot do that on their own. 

We need real leadership in Albany. That is what I intend to offer. 

First, the state must provide school districts and local governments relief from the unfunded state mandates that are largely responsible for the continued growth in property taxes. This includes a more aggressive state takeover of county Medicaid costs. 

While the current state Medicaid cap was an important step to relieve this mandate, the state must pay the full nonfederal cost, as virtually every other state currently does. County governments must then use this savings to cut their property tax rates. 

We must also ensure that Hudson Valley school districts receive their fair share of state school aid to both invest in our children’s education and protect property taxpayers.

I am the only candidate with the experience needed to deliver real results for local residents on Day One and I look forward to getting to work.

Statement from New Windsor Supervisor George Green
A Democrat candidate for State Assembly recently made comments regarding the Town of New Windsor budget process. His comments about a preliminary document and scare tactics regarding tax rates are completely inaccurate. The Town of New Windsor continually stays within the tax cap and will do so again this year in the final adopted budget. New Windsor taxpayers can rest assured their town government will stay within the tax cap as usual and we will continue to find innovative solutions to fund the budget and save taxpayers money. The candidates’ complete lack of knowledge and experience are evident. Democrats in Albany got rid of rebate checks last year that benefit towns like New Windsor who continually stay under the tax cap. This is the second year residents of New Windsor and towns across the state have lost out on rebate checks because of the Democrats in the State Assembly. Voters won’t be fooled by lies nor send someone to Albany who engages in them.” – Supervisor George Green