Sen. Maziarz Criticizes Gov's Plan for Utility Bill 'Outreach'

George D. Maziarz

April 08, 2009

            Senator  George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) today criticized Governor David Paterson for announcing an outreach program for consumers who can’t pay their energy bills, just days after pushing through a massive utility tax hike that will make it even tougher for people to pay them.

            “This clearly illustrates the Governor’s backwards priorities,” Senator Maziarz said.  “Governor Paterson and his Democrat colleagues increased taxes on electricity and natural gas by more than $600 million.  This move will raise the energy bills of every consumer and cost thousands of jobs.  Now the Governor wants those people who will no longer be able to pay the bill to know their legal rights.”

            New Yorkers already pay some of the highest energy costs in the nation, now the new utility tax will cost the average resident hundreds of dollars a year. A small manufacturer with a $10,000 electrical bill will see this assessment go from $333 to $2,000 a year.  This will likely lead to more businesses closing their doors and leaving New York for other states.

            Senator Maziarz proposed a budget amendment to strike the disastrous utility tax from the budget, but Senate Democrats, including Senator Stachowski and Senator Thompson, voted against it and stood with the Governor in support of the tax hike.

            The new state budget increases taxes by a total of more than $8 billion and will increase the taxes paid by an average family of four by $2,400 a year.  This includes the decision by the Governor and the Senate and Assembly Democrats to eliminate the STAR property tax rebate checks.

            “Perhaps the Governor will announce another outreach program for people who are going to lose their homes because they can no longer afford their property taxes,” Senator Maziarz said.  “This wouldn’t even be an issue if the Governor and Senate Democrats had supported my budget plan that would have reduced spending, cut taxes and created jobs.”