Senator Young Decries Governor’s Proposal to Withhold Tax Refund Checks

Catharine Young

February 19, 2010

ALBANY - Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I – Olean) today called on Governor Paterson to release hundreds and millions of dollars in tax refunds to New York State taxpayers.

            “It is outrageous that the governor would even consider withholding tax refund checks The taxpayers of this state are hard-working people who did their duty by paying their taxes on time.  Now the state needs to meet its obligation to its taxpayers and pay them their money,” said Sen. Young.

            As much as $500 million in refund payments could be delayed if Governor Paterson’s proposal is enacted. 

            “Delaying these checks doesn’t end the state’s budget problems – it merely pushes them off to the next fiscal year.  For now, all it does is cause problems for countless families and small businesses who depend on their tax refunds to meet their financial obligations,” Sen. Young said. 

            “This plan is a colossal slap in the face to the people of this state who already are taxed too much. The Governor needs to stop the shell games and concentrate more on cutting spending and getting the state’s affairs in order,” added Sen. Young.

            Kevin Meyers, an Operations and Safety Manager for Chautauqua Metal Finishing Supply in Jamestown, said, "First the Governor wants to raise our taxes and now he wants to hold our tax refund checks, money that is not his to use.  These are difficult times and my family like many others have had to make sacrifices.  But people need the money that is rightfully theirs and the governor should not use it to address his budget problems."

            Richard Hampshire, a self employed contractor from Friendship, said, “Being a resident in Allegany county, we are one of the more depressed counties in the state and people here rely on those checks.  We have gotten ourselves into such a financial state that it just shows you that New York City leaders who are controlling everything are not doing their jobs.”

            Governor Paterson has also proposed delaying school and other aid payments in order to balance New York State’s budget by the end of the fiscal year. 

            Senator Young has proposed a number of positive solutions to the current State budget crisis including the immediate reinstatement of strong anti-fraud measures that would weed out fraud and abuse in the State's Medicaid system and free up millions of dollars in State revenues.  In addition, Senator Young called on the State to freeze all unnecessary purchases of State recreational lands and to look critically at every expenditure of State taxpayer dollars.

            “This budget crisis could have been avoided if the Governor and those who now control the Legislature had acted responsibly last year and refused to adopt a budget that increased spending and taxes by record amounts,” said Senator Young. "By refusing to make the tough decisions that were needed last year, the Governor is now putting the state’s financial mess on the backs of our taxpayers.”