Statement by Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos

Dean G. Skelos

May 26, 2010

Once again, Speaker Silver and his fellow Democrats are refusing to listen to New York taxpayers who have had enough of taxes and spending by planning a massive tax increase to pay for spending we cannot afford.  New Yorkers have made themselves very clear on the issue of tax hikes, yet the Democrats continue to display their arrogance by pushing for more tax increases.


The Governor indicated yesterday that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver proposed a budget plan that included a tax hike, and today, the New York Post is reporting that the Speaker wants to increase personal income taxes by $1 billion.  


This is a repeat of last year when the Governor and the Democrats in the Senate and Assembly approved a $4 billion personal income tax increase. They said it was a tax hike on “the rich,” but they actually socked middle class families and small businesses across the state.  The tax increase was part of a budget that increased taxes by $8.5 billion to help pay for a $13 billion increase in spending and was followed by a $1.5 billion payroll tax.


The groundwork for the Democrats’ latest tax increase came earlier this year when Senate and Assembly Democrats stood with pro-tax hike special interest groups to embrace a plan to increase taxes and fees by $8.4 billion, including more taxes on tourism, health care, beverages, vending machines, financial services and even shopping bags.  That plan also included the same personal income tax hike being pushed by Speaker Silver.  What’s to stop the Democrats from pushing for the rest of this massive tax increase plan?  


If that’s not enough, last month Senate Democrats proposed fee increases of more than a quarter billion dollars that would make it more expensive to buy a car or a house.


Taxpayers better hold onto their wallets.


The Democrats’ tax increase proposals would further devastate the state and city economies that have not yet recovered from the disastrous tax increases they successfully pushed through last year and drive more jobs out of the state.  


We need to reduce state spending, particularly for Medicaid, which is the largest single expenditure in the state budget and is projected to grow by 37 percent over the next three years.  


We need to begin joint, public conference committee negotiations and we have to get a responsible budget in place that does not increase taxes, spending, or borrowing.