Republican Senate Calls on Governor to Resubmit Budget-Stimulus Package Allows for Elimination of $6 Billion in New Taxes and Fees

Kenneth P. LaValle

February 11, 2009

Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that the Senate Republican Conference called on Governor Paterson to revise and resubmit his 2009-10 Executive Budget proposal. The Governor's plan was introduced back in December without consideration of federal economic stimulus dollars. The federal funds could provide the opportunity to eliminate $6 billion in new taxes and fees proposed by the Governor.

"In these tough economic times, families are struggling to keep their homes and jobs," said Senator LaValle. "Under the Governor's proposal, an average family of four can expect to pay more than $3,300 in new taxes and fees per year. Since many families have already tightened their household budgets, these increases could force people to look out of state for a more affordable cost of living."

Some of the proposed individual taxes and fee increases that target middle income families include the elimination of the STAR rebate check, the reinstatement of taxes on clothing and shoe purchases under $110, increases in basic cable TV fees, as well as new taxes on bottled water, regular sodas, haircuts, health insurance, after school care, fishing licenses, and much more.

According to Senator LaValle, the Senate Republican Conference sent a letter to the New York Congressional delegation urging them to advocate for New York's share of stimulus aid. In addition, the Conference requested a strong focus on economic development, infrastructure investments, and tax relief for families and businesses.

"The taxes and fees the Governor has proposed will have a negative impact on the average middle class family's daily life," said Senator LaValle. "Instead of attempting to nickel and dime people to death, he should be working to provide tax relief, encourage economic development, and create jobs."

Governor Paterson recently stated that, in light of the federal stimulus package, he would prefer to "cancel out" his proposed tax increases. "I would urge the Governor do just that and resubmit a budget that is reflective of the opportunity at hand and uses federal funding to boost New York's economy."

The Senate Republican Conference also proposes using the federal funding to improve health care and address deep cuts in state school aid.