Senate Democrats Defeat Republican Effort to Stop Largest Tax Increase in State History

Dean G. Skelos

April 03, 2009

Massive $4.1 Billion Income Tax Hike will be Disastrous for Long Island, NYC Metro Area Taxpayers; Result in Thousands of Job Losses

Senate Democrats today defeated a Republican sponsored amendment that would have put the brakes on the largest tax increase in State history, a whopping $4 billion plus Personal Income Tax (PIT) increase that will affect taxpayers making as little as $200,000 a year and lead to devastating job losses throughout New York.

The massive income tax hike was ultimately passed as a result of unanimous Democrat support in the Senate following a secret agreement by the three New York City Democrats who now control Albany - - Governor Paterson, Senator Smith and Speaker Silver. Rather than utilize the revenue to balance the budget, Democrats will use it to fuel record spending.

The tax hike will have a disastrous effect on Long Island and other New York City metropolitan area taxpayers and likely result in thousands of job losses, Republicans noted.

“In the face of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, this Democrat-only Budget enacts the largest tax increase in State history which will lead to more job losses, higher unemployment and a longer and deeper recession for New York’s families,” Senate Republican Leader Dean G. Skelos said.

“A budget that contains the largest tax increase in state history, eliminates STAR rebate checks, and contains no job creation plans does nothing to help residents who are already paying among the highest property taxes in the country. It is a shame that the Senate Democrats, who already ignored the needs of these individuals when they created this budget, once again turned their backs on us defeating this amendment,” said Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr.

Senate Republicans have advanced an alternative budget that spends less than the Governor proposed, rejects $6.2 billion in taxes and fees proposed by Governor Paterson, implements a spending cap to restrain future spending growth and helps businesses create jobs to strengthen the State’s economy. Most importantly, the plan shows how to produce a balanced budget without resorting to a damaging personal income tax hike.

The plan leaves $1.2 billion currently in reserves untapped and fully funded, and increases the State’s overall fiscal reserves by nearly $1 billion so New York is on sounder fiscal footing.

It makes needed investments in education, jobs, and health care and restores the $1.7 billion STAR rebate program for middle class families that was omitted from the Governor’s Executive Budget. Meanwhile, it provides for reductions in government spending and other cost cutting measures of $5.5 billion to help restore balance to the State’s finances.

“The Senate Republican budget savings plan is a blueprint for helping middle-class families and small businesses. Unlike the Democrats short-sighted budget, our plan makes real and recurring spending reductions, and provides tax relief to New Yorkers who are already paying the highest taxes in the nation,” Senator Skelos said.