The Conservative Party recommends that the following be acted upon:
1. The Conservative Party is committed to helping the taxpayers residing in New York State and firmly believe that tax reform and relief is needed immediately and must include the following measures:
a. End and repeal unfunded mandates;
b. Continue to hold total state spending growth at/or (preferably) below the inflation rate;
c. Further reduction in the personal income tax on all New Yorkers;
d. Further reduction in the corporate income tax on all businesses in New York, to stimulate more investment and job creation;
e. Amend the school property tax and real property tax cap to allow district wide vote by residents to override the budget with a two-thirds majority vote;
f. Opposition to adoption of a “circuit-breaker” property tax program;
g. No increase in fees or “hidden” taxes;
h. We support a “flat tax” where every household in New York State pays the same percentage of their income thereby making it possible to eliminate nuisance taxes.
i. Indian Reservations should not be allowed to sell non-residents tax free cigarettes and gasoline.
j. Rejection of a “congestion pricing plan”;
k. Full repeal of the MTA tax and no reinstatement of the “Commuter Tax”;
l. Elimination of state income tax on dividend earnings;
m. Opposition to the levy of state and local sales taxes on out-of-state internet purchases.
n. Local government entities, such as Fire Districts, Libraries, School Districts, should have voter approval of budgets, prior to contracts becoming effective;
o. Local governments should be required to consolidate services and where possible, to eliminate duplication of services;
p. Eliminate the New York State estate tax.
2. Requirement of a 2/3 majority vote for any tax increase.
3. Adoption of a constitutional amendment limiting any increase of state spending to the rate of inflation.
4. Prohibit public authorities from issuing new debt except for capital improvements backed by a stable revenue stream paid directly by the project’s beneficiaries - for example: bridge tolls.
5. Pension Reform. While it is understood that the New York State Constitution does not allow pension benefits to be “diminished or impaired,” the current defined-benefit pension entitlement must be changed to a defined contribution retirement savings plan when new government employees are hired. Tier VI, did not include “defined-contribution,” which is necessary to curb the future costs to taxpayers.
6. While the cap on Medicaid spending was a good beginning, Medicaid must be reformed to decrease spending. Among some of the reforms Medicaid should adopt is the elimination of programs that are not covered by private insurance carriers, for example, transportation to and from doctor’s appointments. Every effort has to be made to eliminate fraud and to recover the monies paid on fraudulent claims.
7. Adoption of a constitutional amendment to ban “appropriation-backed” debt that does not have voter approval.
8. Adoption of a constitutional amendment that lists the total debt expected from a bond act.
9. Support of a constitutional amendment to end all “back door” borrowing and to allow the voters of New York to have more than one bond issue on the ballot.
10. Continue job creation through tax reduction by elimination of the Gross Receipts Tax.
11. New York State needs to address the out-of-control costs of healthcare for employees and retirees of public employment agencies.