Ranzenhofer Says No to Job-Killing Tax Increases


Tonawanda,  NY – Speaking outside of Office Furniture Center, State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer blasted Governor Paterson’s proposed increases in taxes on Health Insurance and Utility rates. Among the many taxes included in the Governor’s executive budget and the Deficit reduction plan passed earlier this year, was an increase in the Covered Lives assessment that in effect penalizes businesses who offer health insurance.  Families and businesses in Western New York already pay $35 per individual policy and $115 per family policy for these taxes.  This additional unfair tax would place an extra burden on families and businesses of $11.07 per individual policy and $36.53 per family policy.  Then to add insult to injury, the Buffalo News reported on Thursday that Governor Paterson meeting in the dead of night with New York City Democrat leaders Smith and Silver was poised to support a $651 million dollar tax on electricity, natural gas and telephone services.

Senator Ranzenhofer (R-I-C, Amherst) said “This is just further proof that three democrats from New York City just don’t get it. When we need lower taxes and more jobs, they give us more taxes that kill jobs,” “When working families are struggling to pay their utility bills, they raise the rates, and when businesses are trying to provide Health insurance to their employees, they make it even harder to do so. Their attitude and policies are completely out of touch with the average Western New Yorker and are the last thing that hardworking taxpayers need during these challenging times.”

Senator Ranzenhofer also called on his colleagues from Western New York who are part of the democrat majority to stand up and be counted.  “I call upon Upstate Senators Stachowski, Thompson and Valeski, to stand with their constituents in opposing these tax increases on individuals and businesses. You live here, so you clearly know that for businesses that are barely hanging on to survive, the prospect of paying more taxes on health insurance and utilities would be devastating.  We can’t let this happen.”

“The only way for us to move forward, is to focus on what we know works in terms of  economic growth. As such we need a budget that taxes less, spends less and creates jobs. The Senate Republican Conference offered such as plan on March 5th, I call upon Speaker Silver as well as Majority leader Smith and Senators Stachowski and Valeski to do the right thing, and join us in moving this plan forward for the good of all New Yorkers.” Senator Ranzenhofer concluded.

Local businessman Michael Koviello joined Senator Ranzenhofer in opposition to the tax increases.  “For many small businesses like Office Furniture Center, these tax increases are just more burdens placed on us by New York State,” said Koviello.  “These tax increases will drive up the cost of doing business,” he added. 

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer was elected to the New York State Senate in 2008. He represents the 61st Senate District which includes part of the city of Tonawanda, the Towns of Amherst, Clarence, Newstead and Tonawanda in Erie County and all of Genesee County.