Guv's tax plans outrage New Yorkers
Gov. David Paterson at a news conference today. AP photo
New Yorkers are fuming today at the prospect of new taxes on everything from downloading music to riding in taxis to watching cable TV.
Its absolutely wrong, said Marlyn Durand, 40, of Brooklyn. This economy is so bad that creating more taxes just doesnt make it any better for us.
The dizzying array of new taxes and fees New Yorkers would also pay taxes on movie tickets, satellite radio and malt liquor - are part of Gov. David Patersons plan to balance the states $121 billion budget.
There is even a tax on your taxes: A $10 fee will be charged to anyone who files income taxes on paper rather than online.
It seems like they just grabbed anything they could and threw it in there, said Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste.Patersons budget plan, presented yesterday to the Legislature, is aimed at closing a $15 billion deficit over the next two years.
In addition to the new taxes, it also proposes to:
Cut school aid by $698 million
Increase public college tuition by 14 percent
Eliminate 3,108 state jobs, including 521 layoffs
Increase drivers license renewal fees
Eliminate the sales tax exemption for clothes under $110
In total, the budget includes 137 new or increased taxes, fees and fines.
I think its going to create more bankruptcy, said Desire Alcantara, 16, of the Bronx.
Assmb. James Tedisco, (R-Schenectady), the minority leader, blasted the plan.
Raising and imposing new taxes penalizes New Yorks middle class families, drives employers away and will ultimately worsen, prolong and deepen this economic recession, he said.
The Democratic governor was also lambasted by labor leaders and education advocates.
It's working people getting stuck with the bill, said Danny Donohue, president of the Civil Service Employees Association union, which represents state workers.
In presenting the budget yesterday, Paterson blamed the states fiscal woes not just on the reeling economy but on irresponsible spending in the past.
Unfortunately, we have lived beyond our means, he said. We have made too many promises and unfortunately have asked for two few sacrifices.
The budget was presented more than a month early so that legislators could get to work before the new session begins in January. Paterson said would like to see a budget passed well before the April 1 deadline in order to avoid increasing the deficit even more.
Although the news is dire, Gov. Paterson deserves praise for his straight-forward leadership throughout a fiscal crisis the likes of which I have not seen in my lifetime, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said.
Ryan Chatelain and AP contributed to this story