Statement by Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos
With every passing day, there are more signs that the Democrats plan on raising more taxes. There was another private leaders meeting today that did not include myself or Assembly Republican leader Kolb. After the meeting, Governor Paterson confirmed that he, Speaker Silver and Senator Sampson discussed increasing sales taxes and other “revenue options,” which is just another way of saying more taxes. Taxpayers better watch their wallets.
Democrats, largely on their own, have passed 70 percent of the budget in piecemeal fashion, including almost $400 million in tax and fee increases. Yet, by their own estimates and those of the Comptroller, they are still only halfway toward closing the $9.2 billion budget gap. With only a small part of the budget left to pass, the Democrats are looking for more opportunities to raise taxes, rather than cut spending.
As I have said repeatedly and consistently since the Governor released his budget five months ago - Senate Republicans will not vote for any budget that includes new taxes, fees or borrowing.
Our conference has issued weekly warnings during the Senate debates of budget extender bills that this piecemeal budget process will result in tax and fee increases and, unfortunately, we are going to be proven right.
Last year, the Democrats increased the average tax bill for a family of four by $2400 a year when they voted to increase spending by $13 billion and raise taxes by $10 billion, including the $1.5 billion payroll tax on downstate New Yorkers. Just like last year, the taxpayer’s burden is only growing larger.
Taxpayers have had enough, but by the comments made by the Governor, Speaker Silver and Senator Sampson today, it’s clear that Democrats are not done raising taxes to close the budget deficit.