Bonacic: Senate Passes Plan That Limits Taxes And Spending

John J. Bonacic

April 08, 2008

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) supported a measure passed by the Senate which enacts a constitutional spending cap that would prevent the Executive from submitting a State budget that increases spending by more than four percent over the previous year's budget and require both houses of the Legislature to live within reasonable means.

"The taxpayers of New York State are already overburdened. Hardworking New Yorkers have to live within their means, therefore, we, as lawmakers should make sure the State does so as well," stated Senator Bonacic.

Senator Bonacic said that the last two State budgets have increased State spending dramatically and this year, the Governor has proposed a budget with over $1.7 billion in tax and fee increases, and the Assembly's budget plan wants to raise taxes by $1.5 billion. "We do not need more spending and taxes, we need accountability," Bonacic said.

Under the Senate proposal approved yesterday, year-to-year State spending increases would be limited to 120 percent of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) or 4 percent, whichever is less. In any given year, fifty percent of tax revenue that exceeded the cap would be placed in a reserve fund and fifty percent would be returned to taxpayers in the form of direct tax rebates. Additionally, the measure would force the Executive to resubmit a balanced Budget to address any shortfalls in revenue that occur after the initial submission of the Executive budget.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 30 States in the Nation have imposed statutory or constitutional tax or spending limits.

"Not only does this plan limit spending, it also rejects the Governor's and Assembly's proposed tax and fee increases. We need to slam the door on massive increases in State spending and reign in the escalating tax burden on New Yorkers," Senator Bonacic concluded.