Senator Nozzolio Introduces Legislation to Repeal Governor’s Utility Tax Increase

Michael F. Nozzolio

August 26, 2009

State Senator Mike Nozzolio recently introduced legislation that would repeal the unnecessary new tax on utilities included in Governor Paterson’s 2009-10 State Budget. If enacted, this legislation would save homeowners and businesses over $500 million on their gas and electric bills.

“The utility tax is a giant step backward for jobs and the economic recovery of Upstate New York. At a time when families, senior citizens and businesses can least afford it, this tax has already raised our utility bills another two percent,” said Senator Nozzolio. “If we care about homeowners, jobs and small businesses, we’ve got to enact this legislation and provide some relief for energy consumers.”

The legislation (S.6132) would repeal a new law that went into effect July 1st requiring utilities to collect a special 2% assessment from all customers--- an assessment that will be sent directly to New York State and put into the State’s general fund.

“What is so incredibly frustrating is that this tax simply did not have to happen. Our hard earned tax dollars are being used to cover the deficit created by a State budget that increased spending by a record $13 billion, a full ten percent, over last year’s budget,” said Senator Nozzolio. “New York State taxpayers were hit with over $8.5 billion in new taxes and fees. If we do not act soon, New York will be the last state in America to emerge from the national recession.”

During the budget negotiations, Senator Nozzolio sponsored an amendment that would have removed the new taxes on natural gas and utilities. Unfortunately, this amendment was defeated by the Senate Democrats and lost by only one vote.

Senator Nozzolio has also started a petition drive demanding Governor David Paterson and Senate President Malcolm Smith repeal their outrageous State Assessment Tax on utility bills. The petition drive has received overwhelming support from taxpayers across New York, generating over 5,000 signatures. The petition is still accessible at and through the Senator’s Facebook page.

“This overwhelming response should send a clear message to Governor Paterson and Senator Smith that they should repeal the tax before even more homeowners and job-producing businesses are forced to leave New York State,” said Senator Nozzolio.

“Since it appears that they will not stand up for the taxpayers of New York, I have introduced legislation to reverse the effects of this budget and return common sense to our state government.  I am calling on my fellow legislators to help enact this measure and provide critical tax relief for our families and businesses,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.