This week, Gov. David Paterson announced his executive budget proposal and it contains pretty much everything New Yorkers have come to expect from their ineffective government: higher taxes, increased spending, and very few structural reforms.
New York is projecting to overspend revenues by $7.4 billion this year, after a massive 8% spending increase last year. And while the governor claims his budget relies on $5.5 billion in spending cuts, the budget will actually increase by another $800 million. To fund this spending boost in the middle of a recession? One billion dollars in higher taxes and fees, including:
- $1 per pack cigarette tax increase ($218 million)
- 3% severance tax on oil extraction from the Marcellus and Utica shales
- Tax on “sugary” soft drinks ($465 million)
- Numerous taxes and surcharges on healthcare providers ($240 million)
In fairness, the governor’s budget does take some steps in the right direction. First, the budget cuts school aid by $1.1 billion. New York education spending is 61% higher than the national average. School district employee salaries are 71% higher and benefits 109% higher. The budget also contains $1 billion in Medicaid and government run healthcare cuts and over $1 billion in cuts to state agency operations.
New York residents: CLICK HERE to write Gov. Paterson and your lawmakers now. It’s time to cut spending even further and completely take tax hikes off the table.