Seward Calls For A 'no Tax' State Budget

James L. Seward

January 13, 2006

Senator James L. Seward and Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno today called on Governor Pataki not to include any new state tax increases in his proposed 2006-07 Executive Budget, to be released next week.

"Taxpayers are paying too much in all taxes, especially property taxes," Seward said. "My view is that we should have a budget without a penny more in taxes."

"Despite enacting billions in tax cuts over the past eleven years, the hard working taxpayers of New York are still over burdened by high taxes," Senator Bruno said. "We have to protect New Yorkers who are taxed from cradle to grave and it starts with the Executive Budget that comes out next week. My colleagues in the senate majority and I are calling on Governor Pataki not to include any tax increases in his proposed budget.

"Last week the governor said the state has a $2 billion surplus because revenues are increasing," Senator Bruno said. "There is simply no reason to propose any tax increases, in fact, we should be returning more of the taxpayers’ moneyto them in the form of tax cuts, especially the property tax, which is the biggest tax burden for so many families. We need to be accountable to the taxpayers by not forcing them to spend a penny more in state taxes."

Two weeks ago, in an effort to reduce the enormous burden of some of the highest property taxes in the country, the senate majority proposed a plan to provide more than $2.4 billion in school and municipal property tax relief over the next three years, including direct rebate checks to property taxpayers, expanding the STAR program and the property tax circuit breaker, and encouraging sharing of local government services. The senate plan would save property taxpayers approximately $1.4 billion in the 2006-07 state fiscal year.

In addition, a tax reduction that will save New York taxpayers nearly $1 billion went into effect on January 1, 2006. The tax rate for taxpayers with incomes between $150,000 and $500,000 decreased from 7.25 percent to 6.85 percent. Similarly, the tax rate for taxpayers with incomes over $500,000 decreased from 7.7 percent to 6.85 percent.

Also, a major tax reform that will help New York businesses and help to prevent the outsourcing of jobs, took effect on January 1, 2006. The single sales factor is expected to save New York businesses $26 million in the coming year and $130 million when fully implemented.