Norris: New Year Is New Opportunity To Address State’s Crushing Tax Burden

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

Happy New Year! I would like to start off by offering you all my warmest well wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019. I hope your holiday season was filled with loved ones and family. Now, as we return our attentions to getting back to school, work and the daily business of our lives, it is hard to say goodbye to loved ones who have moved far away. Unfortunately, this is a reality too many Western New Yorkers are familiar with. Not only have many of our parents or grandparents retired in states that will allow them to maximize their retirement savings, but too many of our siblings, peers and children are moving out of state for better opportunities as well.

Not only is New York State one of the highest taxed and most expensive states in the nation, but it now also has the distinction of topping the nation in terms of resident out-migration. According to recent census reports, data shows that just in the last few years, over 1 million New Yorkers fled for states with lower taxes, better job opportunities, more affordable housing and less expensive costs of living or doing business such as Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Western New York is one of the largest areas losing residents along other upstate counties. Though we have many hardworking, talented and trained people working to rebuild our regional economy, we will fail to compete unless Albany is willing to take substantial action to reduce taxes on property, energy, income, businesses, and all the nuisance charges it imposes that continue to rise (such as tolls, surcharges, license fees, etc.). Albany must work with our local governments, schools, libraries and fire districts to reduce the unfunded and burdensome regulations that contribute to our taxes increasing year after year. And Albany must make smarter investments in terms of supporting the good work New Yorkers are already doing to rebuild their local economy.

With the New Year comes a new opportunity for the governor and leaders in Albany to direct their attention to the most pressing needs of our state. Here in Western New York we know all too well that one of the most pressing concerns is the state’s crushing tax burden and high cost of living. We want to keep our families close and together, all year – not just at the holidays.

As your representative and as a proud lifelong Western New Yorker, I will continue working to make sure Albany hears our message. Cut taxes, cut spending. I will continue urging Albany to reform itself through my State Contracts Sunlight Act, bringing true accountability to our state’s taxpayer-funded contracts and ensuring jobs promised are jobs delivered. And I am also proud to announce that I am working to build a coalition of lawmakers focused on retooling our state’s high-tech workforce training programs and opportunities so that New Yorkers are prepared for lifelong, lucrative careers when they graduate. I can’t wait to share more details of my workforce development plans with you throughout the year.

Like you, I want our state and our citizens to succeed, and please know I am working hard so that you and your loved ones will have the freedom, skills and flexibility to do so. As always, I welcome your input and ideas and hope you will share them with me at, send me a message on Facebook, or call my office at (716) 839-4601 to schedule an appointment with me. Wishing you a safe, happy and healthy 2019!