Albany, N.Y., January 24—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats), Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee, today joined members of the Senate Republican Conference to unveil their “End the Exodus” economic plan.
At a Capitol news conference today, O’Mara said the plan continues the Senate GOP’s rollout of its “Take Back NY” legislative agenda for 2022.
As inflation spikes – and countless families and businesses leave the state for greater financial freedom and quality of life – the Republican priorities seek to reverse these destructive trends by increasing affordability and expanding economic opportunity in New York.
O’Mara said, “It’s no coincidence that our state led the nation last year in overall tax burden and population loss. Hundreds of thousands of our fellow New Yorkers are heading for the exits. They’re going to Florida, South Carolina, and other low-tax states. It’s not the weather – it’s the tax-and-spend policies levied by Democrat One-Party Rule in our state. New York is at a crossroads for our economic future, and we must enact our affordability agenda to meet the moment. Together, we can finally ‘End the Exodus.’”
[Watch today's entire news conference HERE.
Republican Leader Rob Ortt said, “New York leads the nation in outmigration. Our greatest asset – our people – are leaving by the hundreds of thousands thanks to sky-high taxes, burdensome regulations, and an overall economic climate that ranks last in the nation for freedom. My colleagues across the aisle have offered nothing but financial hardship for hardworking New Yorkers and small businesses since they took the Majority. Enough. We need to make our state more affordable, expand economic opportunity, and enact Senate Republicans’ economic plan if we want to ‘End the Exodus.’”
The Senate GOP stressed that New York faces extreme short- and long-term economic challenges, including:
● Inflation – a 7 percent spike in consumer prices over last year, or a 40-year high – including skyrocketing costs for transportation, food, and other essential goods and services;
● Pain at the Pumps – average gas prices in the state have gone up by more than a dollar-per-gallon, or an estimated 43 percent increase from a year ago;
● Rising Home Heating Costs – monthly average home heating oil prices have also risen by more than a dollar per gallon from a year ago, or an estimated increase from a year ago;
● Declining Consumer Sentiment – since 2018, New Yorkers have become less optimistic about overall and future economic conditions, with recent concerns spiking over over food and gas prices;
● Overall Tax Burden – New York has the highest tax burden in the nation at 12.79 percent – without factoring in a plethora of other burdensome fees; and
● Economic Freedom – New York has ranked last in the nation in terms of “economic and overall freedom” for years – according to one think tank.
According to a just-released WalletHub ranking, “2022’s Best States to Retire,” New York ranks 48th overall and dead last, 50th, in affordability among all states.
O’Mara said that the “End the Exodus” plan includes:
● Cutting New York’s Highest-In-The-Nation Taxes:
○ Enact a permanent, constitutional cap on runaway state spending;
○ Repeal unfunded mandates that drive up local property taxes;
○ Accelerate and expand the historic, Senate Republican-authored Middle-Class Tax Cut;
○ Require a 2/3 vote of the state legislature for any tax increase; and
○ Reject the Senate Democrats’ radical plans to dramatically increase gas, home heating, and everyday-living costs.
● Reducing the Cost of Living:
○ Allow localities the option to offer state sales tax holidays on essential goods and services;
○ Repeal outdated regulatory barriers that impact availability of affordable housing and protect the rights of property owners;
○ Make childcare more affordable and available by cutting costly regulations, expanding the Empire State Child Tax Credit and the dependent care credit, and increasing support for employer-provided early childhood education and care; and
○ Mitigate the impact of the global energy crisis by providing nearly $300 million in energy tax relief.
● Improving the State Business Climate:
○ Cut red tape and burdensome regulations;
○ Reduce taxes on small businesses;
○ Reform the way economic development – for years plagued by corruption – is done in New York;
○ Reject Democrats’ radical plans to ban natural gas hookups in construction; and
○ Cap unemployment taxes to protect businesses still struggling with pandemic recovery.
The End the Exodus plan builds upon Senate Republicans’ “Take Back NY” agenda unveiled at the start of the year, which includes a plan to restore public safety, as well as calls to end overreaching government mandates.
O’Mara concluded, “New York remains one of the highest-taxed states in America. We are one of the most overregulated states in the nation. Our local governments and local property taxpayers continue to foot the bill for one of the country’s heaviest burdens of unfunded state mandates. It’s troubling that Governor Hochul and top legislative Democrats keep talking about bigger and bigger state government spending at a time when the priority should be a long-term, steady, sustainable future for upstate, middle-class communities, families, workers, and taxpayers.”