Norris: Cutting Taxes To Achieve American Dream

A Column from Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,I-Lockport)

Having just celebrated our nation’s Independence Day, it is a reminder to us all of the sacrifices, bravery and hardships made by our forefathers and ancestors and our veterans and military. It humbles me to be able to give back to this great community and state through public service, and every day I am working hard to honor their legacy and improve Western New Yorkers’ chances at success and prosperity.

Unfortunately, the number one reason why New York State is falling behind – and why millions of New Yorkers have moved out of state – is the excessively high cost of living and rate of taxation. We need independence from Albany’s tax-and-spend mentality because it is crippling homeowners and businesses. That’s why I proudly voted against $12.8 billion in proposed tax hikes during my first term. Furthermore, I voted to cut taxes 6 times, and I’ve voted largely against the bloated state budgets.

I am also a sponsor of legislation that would drastically reduce property taxes with a state takeover of Medicaid funding. Medicaid, the state’s public health system, is currently the most expensive unfunded mandate on localities. While we must provide a safety net for New Yorkers in need, I believe if the state mandates coverage then the state should own the cost. Albany cannot continue to shift the cost of their mandated programs onto our local governments and schools. I also sponsor legislation that would place a permanent moratorium on Albany’s unfunded mandates.

Like you, I believe Albany must be more responsible when it comes to spending. There is a limit on what New Yorkers can afford, and Albany must be cognizant of that and take the household budgets of average New Yorkers into consideration. The sky is not the limit when it comes to state spending, and that’s why I am a sponsor of legislation that would dramatically reform our state’s budget process, bring more accountability and transparency into the process, reduce corruption and ensure tax savings.

I am so proud to be born and raised in Western New York and to have always called this region my home. I am so proud of the veterans and active military working to defend our freedoms. I am so proud of the hardworking men and women who are rebuilding our regional economy and who are building a better life for their families at home. Albany’s tax-and-spend mentality threatens that. I have proudly stood up against it time and time again, and will continue to stand up to defend our region, our quality of life and the hard work of my fellow citizens.

Please know that working for you is my top priority and, as always, I welcome your input and ideas. Please share them with me by emailing me at or sign up for my e-newsletter for more updates on my progress working to reform Albany and save you money.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Independence Day and enjoys the summer. I’d like to thank again everyone who serves to make Western New York such a wonderful place to call home.