WXXI Local Stories
Wed May 13, 2009
Senate Democrats Hold First Open Conference
By Karen DeWitt
Albany, New York – Senate Democrats let journalists into their normally closed door party conference Wednesday, to witness a discussion of ideas to clamp down on the state's highest- in- the- nation property taxes.
Senate Majority Leader Malcom Smith says he hopes to have more open party conferences in the future.
"This is our first one," said Smith. " We hope that we'll get some good feedback from the public."
The Democratic senators heard competing proposals on property tax relief from Senators Liz Krueger and Jeff Klein . Krueger's plan relies on a circuit breaker, and would be funded in part from revival of a proposed tax on sugared soft drinks, and collection of stock transfer taxes. Klein's' plan restores the STAR rebate checks, along with a circuit breaker and would be financed partly from a tax amnesty, expansion of gambling, and federal stimulus monies.
Neither plan advocates a tax cap, as Governor Paterson has proposed.