Saying that "New York’s working families, who form the backbone of our state’s economy, deserve tax measures that actually allow them to keep more -- not less -- of their hard-earned money," State Senator Kevin Parker (D/WFP-Brooklyn) supported a number of budget amendments recently proposed by the SenateMinority Conferenceduring the 2005 budget debate. These proposals would significantly lessen the sales and property tax burdens of New York’s working families, seniors, and first-time home buyers.
The tax-saving budget amendments backed by Senator Parker include provisions that would increase the enhanced STAR exemption for eligible seniors (aged 65 or older) on their homes from $50,000 to $75,000, permanently exempt sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110, and create a personal income tax credit for first-time home buyers who qualify.
"All of these tax-saving measures proposed and supported by the SenateMinority Conferencewould mean more money in the pockets of working and middle class New Yorkers, while also strengthening the economies of local communities," said Senator Parker. "These amendments make sense, are economically sound, and deserve our wholehearted support."
"Rising local property taxes present a real burden to all homeowners -- especially seniors -- many of whom are on fixed incomes. I support the increased STAR exemption, because it helps our seniors stay in their own home, while it also works to strengthen our local economic and tax bases," Senator Parker said.
Senator Parker stated that New York’s working families should not be penalized by the Governor’s proposal repealing the permanent exemption on clothing and footwear under $110, "while at the same time he is proposing to terminate the temporary income tax on New York’s wealthiest taxpayers. The combination of decreasing the personal income tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers while reinstating a sales tax on clothing -- a basic necessity -- places an even greater and unfair burden on New Yorkers. The sales tax is an especially regressive tax measure, and one that should be permanently exempted."
To encourage home ownership, Senator Parker also strongly supports a measure proposed by the Senate Minority that would provide direct support for first-time home buyers purchasing their primary residence, by providing a personal income tax credit for the tax year beginning January 1, 2006. Depending on income, the credit would total $1,250 for those households whose gross income is less than $150,000, and $1,000 for those whose gross income is between $150,000 and $200,000.
Senator Parker said these proposed amendments were voted down by the Senate Majority on a strict party line vote.
"As we work to formulate and finalize this year’s state’s budget, I will continue to advocate a spending and tax plan that is economically sound and balanced, and one that does not place an unfair burden on New York’s working families," the Brooklyn lawmaker concluded.