Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) is disappointed with the status of budget negotiations in Albany, pointing to a one-house budget resolution passed by the State Senate this week which will hurt hardworking New Yorkers by raising taxes by near $2 billion. Senator Gallivan voted against the measure.
“While there are some things in this budget that I support, I am disappointed that it does nothing to cut taxes for middle-class families or reduce the high costs of doing business in New York State,” Senator Gallivan said. “The budget put forth by the new Senate Majority not only imposes new taxes and fees, it ignores the need for meaningful regulation reform which would help businesses grow and create jobs. We should be doing all we can to keep state spending in check and make New York more affordable for families, seniors and businesses.”
Among the budget proposals Senator Gallivan is most concerned about:
- A new tax on internet purchases, which would force consumers who value convenience to pay even more in taxes;
- Revival of a regressive tax on the sale of prescription drugs, a measure recently deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge, as it would’ve hurt medically-ill consumers first and foremost;
- An enormous tax on legalized recreational marijuana, which may or may not pass final muster in the state budget, but has been debated by Albany politicians without any consideration for public health;
- Taxpayer-funded political campaigns, a handout that has been called “welfare for politicians,” and will force hardworking New Yorkers to spend up to $200 million in funding negative political processes without choice; and
- Creation of a new driving or gasoline tax.
- A ban on plastic bags and a tax on the paper bags used as an alternative;
- A new energy tax.
A recent study by the Tax Foundation found that New York holds the unfortunate position of number one in the nation in combined state and local income tax burden. The non-partisan think tank also concluded that New York ranks 48 out of 50 when it comes to overall business tax climate, a distinction only worsted by California and New Jersey.
Senator Gallivan says there are several items in the Senate’s one-house budget resolution which he supports, including a plan to make the state’s property tax cap permanent, restoration of funding to local municipalities through the AIM program, increased funding for local roads through the CHIPS and Extreme Weather Road Repair Fund, increased funding for agriculture and increased aid to education.
Members of the Senate Minority have proposed several items to make New York more affordable, including:
- Protection of the historic Middle Class Income Tax Cut, a measure that has already saved New Yorkers $770 million, and is one of the largest and most important tax cuts in state history;
- A permanent property tax cap, currently a temporary policy that has helped save taxpayers $37 billion since its inception, but has little support in the State Assembly;
- Full funding and an extension of the successful Family Tax Relief program, a Senate Republican-won measure passed to ensure that middle-class families get to keep more of their hard-earned money. This year, taxpayers will receive hundreds of dollars in direct tax relief, money that will go away if the program is allowed to lapse; and
- Implementing significant business and energy tax cuts and regulatory reforms so that there are fewer obstacles to creating new jobs in New York.
Budget negotiations continue in Albany. The state’s new fiscal year begins April 1.