Governor Backs Down on Tax and Fee Hikes

James L. Seward

March 11, 2009

ALBANY, 03/11/09 – Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I- Oneonta) commented today on Governor Paterson’s decision to back down on some tax and fee hikes proposed in his budget.

“Under pressure from an outraged public that he wants to tax everything from haircuts, bowling, ski lift tickets, clothing, satellite and cable TV, grocery store coupons, gym memberships, music downloads, movie tickets -- to name a few -- the governor just backed down on more than $1 billion in proposed taxes. That’s a good start -- but more need to be dropped -- like a higher state gas tax.

“The governor hasn’t backed down on his plan to raise property taxes by eliminating the STAR tax rebates and cutting the value of the STAR property tax exemption. The rebate checks alone would provide $1.7 billion to middle-class families, a real stimulus plan.

“I opposed all of the governor’s taxes, and joined senate Republicans in offering a better plan. It rejects ALL of his $6 billion in new taxes and fees; includes a spending cap to hold down future state spending; and helps upstate businesses create new jobs. We propose less debt, and agency cuts and consolidations. It’s time the governor take up these initiatives.

“Today the governor cancelled a planned leaders’ meeting, continuing the secrecy surrounding this year’s budget process. The three Democrats from New York City need to come out from behind closed doors and tell the people of this state what they plan to do about the rest of the budget. With April 1st only three weeks away, the clock is ticking. A late state budget will only exacerbate the state’s financial problems.”