In Albany, As In Washington, Minority Just Says No
We're simply amazed -- well, not really -- how the political party in power (be it Dem or GOP) spends taxpayer money like there was no tomorrow, while the party out of power, having no qualms about spending when they were in, steadfastly opposes the expenditure of a single penny.
Sure, to the victor goes the spoils, but why are we, the taxpayers, always left holding the empty bag?
When the GOP ran things in DC for eight long years under George II, it was spend, spend, spend -- turning surplus into debt and deficit running in to the trillions of dollars.
Much of the same went on closer to home, in Albany. The State Senate, in GOP hands during the entirety of the Pataki administration(and, in fact, for much of the last forty years), gave the green light to spending, taxing, raising fees, with an almost zealous abandon.
Now, out of power both in Washington and in the State Capitol, the Republicans say "NO" -- to virtually everything.
Of course, we applaud saying no to wasteful government spending, as we do the GOP's indignation, mock though it is, over increased fees and taxes, in whatever form these burdens to the general populace may take, but come on, folks, wasn't it that same GOP, in failing to be fiscally prudent when they held the purse strings, who brought us to the brink in the first place?
Okay. It is now, as, we dare say, it has always been, fashionable, if not politically correct, for the minority to say "no" whenever the majority says "yes," and vice versa. It is bad government, and an affront to the dignity of the taxpayer and the cause of democracy, but it makes the legislators look good in the eyes of a constituency that should, but, too often, doesn't know any better.
Tax and spend would appear to be the one constant that both Democrats and Republicans share when they control the cash drawer -- even when that drawer is empty.
All right. We're all against taxes, fees, excessive spending. So, let's all jump on the band wagon to petition our State government to "just say no" to taxes, fees, and anything else that picks our pockets clean.
This redress of grievances, and feigned righteous fury, may well signify nothing, but hey, if it makes you feel better, go for it!
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DMV Tax Attack
From NYS Senate Minority Leader, Dean G. Skelos
This week we saw a rise in motor vehicle fees that unfairly target hardworking middle class families across our state. These increases were included in the irresponsible budget signed by Governor Paterson and I want you to know that I did not support the Governor and voted against every single tax and fee increase in this past year's state budget.
In a year that was plagued with worsening economic news and forecasts, the Governor shepherded through a budget that increased taxes and fees on hard working New Yorkers by over $8 Billion and drove up spending in our state by over 10%. The increased spending by the Governor is now being paid for by you and I with the DMV fee increases only being the most recent of many small assaults on taxpayers across the state.
When the Governor was in the process of negotiating this budget, I submitted a proposal that would have provided a balanced budget for New York State that reduced state spending, and equally important, did not raise taxes. Unfortunately the Governor chose to ignore this proposal.
The solution to our current economic trouble is not to go on a tax and spending spree, but to control spending and reduce taxes. I believe that we need to be working to create jobs and promote economic development in our state, not raise taxes to pay for unjustified and irresponsible spending. Every tax hike makes New York less competitive and puts us further behind other states when the recovery begins.
Please CLICK HERE to sign my on-line petition to let Governor Paterson know that we simply cannot afford any more tax and fee increases.
As always, kind regards and best wishes.
Very truly yours,
DEAN G. SKELOS
Senator - 9th District
PS - Scroll down to see the entire list of tax and fee increases signed into law by the Governor and make sure you sign my on-line petition to let him know that we can not afford any more!
* Personal Income Tax (PIT) increase - $4.1 billion
* Eliminate Middle Class STAR Rebates - $1.6 billion
* Governor's Proposed Utility Tax Increase - $600 million
* Tax on Family and Individual Health Insurance Policies (DRP) - $240 million
* State and City University Tuition Tax - $220 million
* Shift Healthy NY Direct Pay Stop Loss to Insurance Assessment (DRP) - $180 million
* Other Nuisance Fees including hunting and fishing licenses - $178 million
* Hospital Assessment Tax - $158 million
* Limit Itemized Deductions for High Income Taxpayers - $140 million
* Hospital Surcharge Tax - $126 million
* HMO Tax - $120 million
* Governor's Tax Increase on businesses in Empire Zones - $90 million
* Increased Fees Drivers Registrations and License Renewals - $90 million
* Impose Fee on Non-LLC Partnerships - $50 million
* Enhanced Bottle Bill - $50 million
* Change Tax of Overcapitalized Captive Insurance Corps - $33 million
* Impose Sales Tax on Transportation-related Activities - $26 million
* Home Care Assessment Tax - $14 million
* Increase Beer/Wine Tax - $14 million
* Cigar Tax - $10 million
* Expand Sales Tax Vendor to Dot-Com's - $9 million
* Auto Rental Tax - $8 million
* Non-resident Covered Lives Assessment Tax - $5 million
* Highway Use Tax Fee Increase - $5 million
* Tax In-state use of Out-of-State Vehicles - $4 million
* Repeal Underutilized Credits - $2 million
* Gain Tax Nonresident Partner - $10 million annually
* Presence in New York PIT tax - $5 million annually