Enacting higher and newer taxes is the prescriptive fiscal tactic that New York Governor David Paterson continues to employ in an effort to stimulate his state’s faltering economy. The Democratic governor seems to be under the impression that by further burdening the state’s financially vulnerable taxpayers, the state’s balance sheet will gradually become less red; thus boosting the state’s economy. In other words, Gov. Patterson seeks to hold New York taxpayers accountable for the state’s (not the taxpayers’) overspending problem; an overspending problem that has consequently led to New York’s crippling budget hole.
Regarding these tax hikes that Gov. Paterson is intent on levying, the New York Daily News reports:
Gov. Paterson warned Thursday that tax hikes and other increases would account for as much as 13% of the state's plan to deal with a $9.2 billion budget deficit.
More specifically, the New York Daily News translates what this means for taxpayers:
That likely means another $1.2 billion burden for New Yorkers, who already pay the highest local and state property taxes in the nation.
The fact of the matter is, the implementation of higher and newer taxes during an economically tumultuous period is not a taxpayer friendly approach. The taxpayers of New York are already inundated with multiple taxes at some of the highest rates in the country. As it is, the state just recently approved of a $1.60 per pack tax hike on cigarettes and higher taxes on other tobacco products as well. Perhaps this was instituted in an effort to compensate for the lost revenue that Paterson had been planning on collecting from the progressive “millionaires tax” hike initiative that failed last month. Regardless, Patterson’s taxing crusade for the sake of revenue rejuvenation is unfortunately not over. In fact, the New York Daily News recently reported the following:
Now, Paterson and lawmakers are looking at reinstating the state's 4% sales tax on clothing and footwear purchases for under $110 in a move to firm up a state budget that is 86 days late.
Alleviating New York’s incessant spending binge is important. However, deflecting responsibility to the taxpayers is not the pragmatic way to go about alleviating New York’s incessant spending binge. Continuing to tax taxpayers at higher rates and in newer forms is just a way for state legislators and Gov. Paterson to jump ship. In order to efficiently and responsibly rectify the state’s overspending problem, state officials need to go back to the drawing board and devise a solution that doesn’t place the burden on the shoulders of the taxpayers. After all, the taxpayers don’t determine the state’s budget allocations; they just provide the revenue for the allocations to be made possible.