Friday, December 19, 2008

Chock Full of Cuts (Loaded with Fees and Taxes)

A Budget Only A Millionaire's Money Could Buy

But not to worry, millionaires of New York, Governor Paterson has no designs on your money, and no proposal in his 2009-10 budget to raise income taxes on those earning the big bucks to help close a record $15 billion deficit.

No, rather than to tax the high and mighty, those who could actually afford to hold the line and bear just a bit more of the economic burden in these difficult times -- the Guv has raised the ante on everything from gasoline and clothing to tuition at the already cash-strapped State University, looking, yet again, to the beleagured middle class (whoever they were, and wherever they have disappeared to) to shoulder the burden.

Cuts to health care, public transit, and state aid to public schools. Taxes on health care and haircuts. Increased fees on movies and motor vehicles.

"Hey, Governor Paterson. How'd you like a nice Hawaiian Punch?" Opps. There'll be a tax on that, too!

One Long Island Assemblyman, Tom Alfano of the 21st AD, takes a hard look at how the Governor's proposed budget will impact on John Q. New Yorker. Alfano likens the Governor's cut and tax assault to "declaring war on middle class families," and calls the proposed budget "an economic apocalypse."

It isn't pretty, folks. And it certainly isn't fair to the vast majority of New Yorkers, already suffering one of the highest tax burdens in the nation, let alone to Long Islanders, who, if they're lucky, see only 25 cents of every tax dollar paid to Albany returned to the island -- and that's in good times.

So go ahead, Governor Paterson. Hike the tax on our cable bill and soda pop. Shortchange our children and our seniors through cuts to education and health care. Increase those local property taxes through the backdoor (while localities do likewise through the front) by reducing STAR benefits and state aid to public schools.

After all, we're New Yorkers. We can take it. Though rest assured, Governor Paterson, we will not take it lying down!
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New Yorkers are urged to contact their State lawmakers in Albany (who will take up Governor Paterson's executive budget in January) to express their outrage over the Governor's proposed cuts, fees, and taxes.

NY State Senate

NY State Assembly
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Says the 137 tax and fee increases in Governor Paterson’s budget are like “declaring war” on New York’s middle class families

Characterizing it as a “gut punch” to Long Island’s middle class already hurting from a terrible economy, home foreclosures and loss of real wages, Assemblyman Tom Alfano today warned that the 137 tax and fee increases within Governor Paterson’s 2009-10 Executive Budget will cost the average New York family an extra $3,875.48 annually.

The analysis found that Governor Paterson’s 137 tax and fee increases – imposed on everything from digital music downloads to soda – could potentially lead to the loss of one-in-ten jobs. That impact to the local economy has legislators like Assemblyman Tom Alfano calling for the Governor to redouble his efforts toward economic development and to stop the outrageous tax and fee plans that will further damage the local economy.

“These 137 tax and fee increases sought by the Governor means he is digging even deeper into the pockets of middle class families, many of whom are suffering from lay-offs, foreclosures and businesses closing. His tax and fee hikes send absolutely the worst possible message for middle class families who are losing their jobs, losing their houses and seeing their incomes and home values decline,” Alfano said.

“Families are cutting back, making sacrifices and now the Governor would take even more. The bottom line is that this budget will only prolong the recession. All these tax and fee hikes are like declaring war on seniors and families,” Alfano stated.

The following are some of the products and services Governor Paterson’s Executive Budget would raise taxes or fees on: cable and satellite television; pay per view movies; cigars; discount coupons; haircuts; beauty salons; health clubs; weight loss programs; fishing; camping; malt-flavored beverages; digital music downloads; drinks from non-diet soda to Gatorade, Hawaiian Punch and Hi-C; beer; wine; car rentals; limousine services; taxis; movies; health insurance; seed dealers; parents of children with special needs; boilers; explosives; horse entrance fees; sporting events; gasoline; clothing; jewelry; footwear; automobile purchases; registration and driving fees.

According to Stephen Kagann, former state chief economist, every $100 million in new taxes imposed during a recession leads to a loss of 11,400 private sector jobs. Governor Paterson’s tax and fee hikes total $6 billion, meaning a loss of 600,000 jobs. When added to the administration’s forecast of 180,000 jobs expected to be lost in 2009, it is a very real possibility that one-in-ten jobs in New York State could be threatened. “When you look at these statistics, and the impact of this budget, you come to the easy conclusion that this budget isn’t just doomsday – it’s an economic apocalypse,” Alfano concluded.
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2009-10 Executive Budget Impact on a Family of Four
Proposed Initiative Family Impact

Environmental Protection
Groceries - Expanded Bottle Bill $73.00

Health, Department
Covered Lives Assessment $73.00

Higher Education
Tuition Increase at SUNY and Campus fees $720.00
Loss of TAP eligibility due to new minimum 15 credit per semester requirement $755.00

Motor Vehicles
Increased registration, plate, document and photo fees $130.00
New requirement - Drivers Education Class before permit $450.00 Personal Income Tax

Tax filers (paper filers) $20.00

Parks and Recreation
Golfing Fee $25.00
Park Admissions Fee Increase $20.00

Real Property Tax
Increase of property taxes as a result of reductions in school aid & AIM and 5-yr average property tax increase (7.99%). $558.00
Elimination of Middle Class STAR Rebate Checks $386.00 Increase Traditional STAR "floor" from 11 to 18 percent $40.00

Sales and Use Taxes
Cable and Satellite Sales Tax (Cable and On-Demand Movies) $88.23
Tobacco & Cigar Reclassification $5.00
Discount Coupon Sales Tax $50.00
Clothing Sales Tax Repeal $160.00
Miscellaneous New Taxed Services (Barber Shops, Salons, gyms, etc.) $45.00
Flavored Malt Beverage Tax $5.00
Prepaid Cigarette Sales Tax Increase $2.92
Digital Products Sales Tax $16.00
Motor & Diesel Fuel Tax Cap Repeal $25.00
Soda & Beverage Sales Tax $122.29
Excise Tax on Beer & Wine $13.13
Auto Rental Tax $2.08
Additional Sales Tax on Transportation (Limos, Taxis and Chartered Services) $12.50
Sales Tax on Amusements (Movies, Sporting Events, etc.) $40.00

Capital Improvement Restrictions $33.33

State Police
Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement Fee $5.00

Grand Total: $3,875.48

1 comment:

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