Senator Nozzolio Blasts Democrats for Rejecting Job-Saving Budget Amendments

Michael F. Nozzolio

April 03, 2009

Albany- State Senator Mike Nozzolio today blasted Senate Democrats for voting against a comprehensive list of amendments to the State budget that would cut taxes, reduce utility costs, eliminate wasteful government spending, and re-prioritize the budget to stop the drain of upstate tax dollars to New York City.

“The Tax Foundation of America has reported that the new budget ensures New York State will surpass New Jersey in having the worst tax code for business of all fifty states in our Nation,” said Senator Nozzolio. “The New York State Budget will present serious negative impact on the individuals, homeowners, families, farmers and job-producing businesses in the Finger Lakes Region. Governor Paterson and the Senate Democrats are taxing too much, spending too much, and killing upstate jobs.”

It is estimated the Budget will cost the average family in the Finger Lakes region about $3,500 per year in additional taxes and fees.

The Budget also spends much more on welfare and programs to benefit individuals in New York City, and eliminates or severely reduces support for the upstate tourism industry, apple industry, wine and grape industry, the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva and agriculture in general.

“The newly-enacted New York State budget is a disaster for the families, senior citizens on fixed incomes and job-producing businesses who will now be burdened with higher energy bills, higher health insurance costs, and over $9 billion of new taxes and fees,” said Senator Nozzolio.

Among the tax-cutting and job-saving amendments proposed by Senator Nozzolio and his Republican colleagues were:

•     An amendment that would put in place a constitutional state spending cap, closing the door on runaway state spending and taxes;

•     An amendment that would restore $1.45 billion in property tax relief for New York’s middle class homeowners;

•     An amendment to eliminate a dangerous energy tax costing homeowners and businesses over $500 million in increased gas and electric bills;

•     An amendment to reprioritize Upstate tourism marketing and the promotion of agricultural products made in New York;

•     An amendment to reign in runaway school spending, increase transparency within local school districts, and protect taxpayers from having to pick up the additional costs from unfunded mandates;

•     An amendment to rescind an increase in the health insurance tax that would raise premiums by more than a third for businesses, families and individuals;

•     An amendment to stop the $4 billion plus Personal Income Tax (PIT) increase that would hurt taxpayers and lead to devastating job losses throughout New York;

•     An amendment to restore the $2.7 million in funding to local libraries that Governor Paterson had eliminated in his budget;

•     An amendment to prevent changes to the State’s drug laws that could potentially put as many as 5,000 drug dealers back on the streets;

“Our amendments were voted down by Senate Democrats, and lost by only one vote, but we will continue the fight for Upstate, for keeping our businesses and producing jobs, and for our overburdened taxpayers,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.