Costly State Budget Hurts All of New York

James L. Seward

April 03, 2009

ALBANY, 04/03/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/I/C- Oneonta) commented today on the state budget vote:

“New York has a budget, but there is very little good news in the spending plan. The budget, crafted entirely behind closed doors by the governor and other New York City leaders, will prove devastating to upstate New York families and businesses.

“At a critical time in our state’s history we have been treated to a historical budget setback. The plan totals a record $131.8 billion, and includes $8 billion in new and higher taxes and fees to fuel the runaway spending. It will cost you more to turn your lights on, register your car and talk on your cell phone. Even Democrat State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli panned the spending plan, calling it a “buy-time budget” that spends more than the state can afford.

“There was no open public debate on the budget until it came to the floor for a vote, the lack of openness and transparency was truly unprecedented. I joined with my senate Republican colleagues in offering a number of amendments to bring spending under control, cut taxes and create jobs, but not one senate Democrat would join us.

“Under this budget STAR rebate checks are erased, SUNY campuses will lose funding, energy costs will rise and dairy farmers will go without valuable support and assistance.

“The budget impacts all New Yorkers, an average family of four will pay almost $2,400 in additional taxes this year. Many families are facing a crisis today, and this budget will only make it more difficult for so many to make ends meet, stay in their homes, and keep their jobs.”

The Democrat-only budget includes the following tax and fee increases:

* Personal Income Tax (PIT) increase - $4.1 billion
* Eliminate Middle Class STAR Rebates - $1.6 billion
* Governor’s Proposed Utility Tax Increase - $600 million
* Tax on Family and Individual Health Insurance Policies (DRP) - $240 million
* State and City University Tuition Tax - $220 million
* Shift Healthy NY Direct Pay Stop Loss to Insurance Assessment (DRP) - $180 million
* Other Nuisance Fees including hunting and fishing licenses - $178 million
* Hospital Assessment Tax - $158 million
* Limit Itemized Deductions for High Income Taxpayers - $140 million
* Hospital Surcharge Tax - $126 million
* HMO Tax - $120 million
* Governor’s Tax Increase on businesses in Empire Zones - $90 million
* Increased Fees Drivers Registrations and License Renewals - $90 million
* Impose Fee on Non-LLC Partnerships - $50 million
* Enhanced Bottle Bill - $50 million
* Change Tax of Overcapitalized Captive Insurance Corps - $33 million
* Impose Sales Tax on Transportation-related Activities - $26 million
* Home Care Assessment Tax - $14 million
* Increase Beer/Wine Tax - $14 million
* Cigar Tax - $10 million
* Expand Sales Tax Vendor to Dot-Com’s - $9 million
* Auto Rental Tax - $8 million
* Non-resident Covered Lives Assessment Tax - $5 million
* Highway Use Tax Fee Increase - $5 million
* Tax In-state use of Out-of-State Vehicles - $4 million
* Repeal Underutilized Credits - $2 million
* Gain Tax Nonresident Partner - $10 million annually
* Presence in New York PIT tax – $5 million annually