For New Yorkers, Obama's tax break may not add up to much
New Yorkers to Obama: Is that all we get?
The tax plan laid out in the economic stimulus package President Barack Obama signed last week will give a typical family an extra $65 a month, starting April 1, which wont buy you very much in New York.
That's nothing, $65 can't go very far at all, said Rachel Thomas, 21, of Manhattan. It'll buy you dinner or maybe three drinks.
In fact, it isnt even enough to purchase a monthly MetroCard, which is $81 and rising soon; pay your ConEd bill, which averages just under $80; or the average cell phone bill, which is $73, according to JD Power and Associates, a marketing services firmSixty-five dollars can't get you nothing, said Andrew Seenarine, 23, of Brooklyn. That's really low. Maybe that'll get you a hot dog.
And with the state proposing 137 new or increased taxes and fees to close its budget and the city raising property taxes and most likely the sales tax as well, it may seem like one hand is giving while the other is taking away.
Gov. David Paterson is pushing for taxes on everything from iPods to movies to cable TV, which would likely up the monthly cost of one of the more common digital cable packages beyond the current $63, more than what the federal government is giving back.
Obama did not say exactly what he meant by typical family but such figures are usually based on median income, which for a family of four in the United States is $67,019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In New York, it is slightly higher, at $72,170.
Whats good for the average American family wont cut it in a place as expensive as New York, many local residents say.
Thats too little, not enough for New York, said Leila Hamadi, 21, of Manhattan. I spend a lot of money in one week.
Of course, given how quickly lifes daily costs add up in New York, some yesterday said they would be grateful for any little bit.
Its OK, said Adrian Blanc, 24, of Brooklyn. Its better than nothing.
Andrew Breiner contributed to this story