New York State – Hard to <3

16 Dec

Governor Paterson has seen the fiscal problems that New York State is facing and has wisely decided that the best way to help grow the state and its revenue is to tax the living shit out of you and everything you come into contact with.

That’s simple enough.

Capitol Confidential and LoHud have the LoDown on all of Paterson’s tax and fee increases, including a repeal of the STAR property tax rebate program (not the reduction – just the rebate).

Rather than blockquote the laundry list of new taxes and fees Paterson proposes in his budget, I’ll provide this summary:

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street.
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get to cold, I’ll tax the heat.
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

‘Cause you’re working for no one but me.

The irony is that a great deal of this is thanks to the meltdown on Wall Street, which provided loads of revenue to Albany. With that well all but dry, it’s the working families and upstate homeowners who are getting shafted in order to pay for too much stuff for too many people. We never shared in the boomtimes that Wall Street enjoyed, so why do the working and middle classes have to get shafted in order to fill the gap? Has every cut that could possibly be made been made? Has every regulation that could be tightened been tightened? Has every penny of spending been analyzed, re-analyzed, and justified a hundredfold? Until that can be confirmed, running after a soda tax or a cigar tax or raising DMV fees is disproportionately cruel to people who have been treated cruelly by Albany for literally decades.

Where’s that Failboat?

20 Responses to “New York State – Hard to <3”

  1. Ward at 11:54 am #

    Methinks Pundit is way into Dr. Seuss, as a result of sick kid duty.

    The key to your complaint lies in the alphabet. You know–CSEA, PEF, SEIU, NYSUT. Spending cuts do not really exist while the pol hacks utter the mantra of those letters. As a previous administration demonstrated, not even the letters GOP seem to afford relief.

  2. Mike In WNY at 11:56 am #

    News Flash: NYS residents experience higher than average health care costs as a result of switching to soft drinks with artificial sweeteners to avoid the “obesity tax”. The costs to state funded health care exceed the revenue from the “fat tax”.

    You gotta luv the law of unintended consequences.

  3. Mr. Pink at 12:12 pm #

    How about pretty much eliminating the Empire Zone program in one fell swoop. Tighten it up, increase accountability, only give it to those that are making real capital investments (Buffalo News, I’m looking at you) but to simply drop this bomb on businesses will prove to be a disaster.

    Remember Governor, businesses vote with their feet and I hear a stampede headed toward the state line.

  4. Buffalopundit at 12:26 pm #

    Beatles, Ward. Beatles. Not Seuss.

  5. mike at 12:59 pm #

    Harrison if you want to be picky

  6. Denizen at 1:23 pm #

    Everything will be better when this state finally goes flat-out bankrupt

  7. dave-in-rocha at 1:42 pm #

    “…why do the working and middle classes have to get shafted in order to fill the gap?”

    Careful, Pundit. Them there’s class-warfare words. Don’t you know? Class warfare is for pinko socialists!

  8. Wizard's cousin Mizard's cousin Gizard at 1:45 pm #

    We’ll just tax sales on Indian reservations, not like treaties are guaranteed by Federal law or anything…

    Disgusting and disgraceful.

  9. wcp at 1:49 pm #

    500 jobs cut out of 200,000 State employees? That’s all they could find?!?! Outrageous.

  10. Prodigal-Son at 2:28 pm #

    In NY, the budget only goes up, not down. Didn’t I read somewhere that its grown 50% in 10 years? And we can’t cut 10% now? How did we survive in the dark ages of 1998?

  11. peter scott at 3:41 pm #

    they’re tightening somewhat…thats for sure…

    my wife’s spring semester tuition at UB Law went up $935…a fellowship with the NYS Courts for 2009-2010 that she applied to was cut completely (letter received in the mail yesterday)…

  12. Starbuck at 5:47 pm #

    BP, when you so strongly supported Spitzer over Suozzi in the primary, and especially in the general when you supported Spitzer over Faso… what did you expect? Were the high spending increases proposed in Spitzer’s two budgets really a shock?

    If there was a special election right now, would you support John Faso over Spitzer or Paterson? Most NYers wouldn’t, so here we are, right where evidently most of us want to be.

  13. Ike at 11:44 pm #


  14. WNYPMH at 8:42 am #

    So, Starbuck, you are dropping this financial mess at the feet of Spitzer and Paterson? This mess didn’t happen overnight and as I recall we had a Republican Governor and Senate for the previous 12 years. This mess is bipartisan. NYS government gets the FAIL stamp of approval for messing things up since the day of incorporation when they decided that instead of a municipal or a county government system…we wanted both. Been all downhill since then.

  15. indabuff at 9:39 am #

    WWBS (What would Barack Say)

    “Americans need to sacrifice. This means New Yorkers too. We are living through the United States’ worse financial crisis since the Great Depression. As the Vice President Elect has stated, it is patriotic to pay taxes. New Yorkers from the peeks of the Shawangunk Mountains to the dead end streets of Sloan need to remember…yes we can.”

  16. Starbuck at 10:23 am #

    Starbuck, you are dropping this financial mess at the feet of Spitzer and Paterson?

    WNYPMH – No, of course not. You’re reading way too much into what I wrote. Spitzer of course had some responsibility for the state deficit because of the high spending growth in his first two budgets. But of course, I’m not saying he’s to blame for the whole financial mess.

    The narrow questions I asked are about whether a strong backer of the Spitzer-Paterson who apparently he disagrees with the fast growth of NYS spending and taxing would now at this point prefer at to have someone like John Faso as governor who’d likely be pushing for a greater focus on spending cuts instead of new revenue enhancers.

    Perhaps the answer is “No, Spitzer-Paterson is still preferable to John Faso.” I don’t know what the answer would be, that’s why I asked.

    And before you explain to me that the governor is only one of 3 men in a room, yes, thank you, I know that. But the choice of governor is one major way to influence these kinds of things.

  17. Buffalopundit at 10:42 am #

    Faso would have had the political wherewithal to do battle with downstate interests and review and revise Medicaid regulations and welfare residency requirements? Or would he have been yet another Albany apparatchik who would have gone along to get along (see: Pataki).

    At least Spitzer had a reputation for making tough decisions and tougher enemies. Pataki didn’t have that stomach, nor did Cuomo, nor does Paterson.

    So, no, I don’t suspect anyone is really pining real hard for the Faso Administration that never was. Suozzi probably would have been a better choice, but the greatest thing about hindsight is how perfect your eyesight is when you’re doing the looking.

  18. Tim at 3:43 pm #

    I wish the state would work to align the interests of insiders (politicians and public employees) with those of the outsiders. If we’re to share the pain, we should tax public pensions earned or paid in New York as ordinary income.

    Currently NY tax law exempts pension benefits from state taxation. If we want to keep our gold plated bureaucracy, we should tax the distribution of public employee retirees at the same level as other income.

    This is not “redoing” some negotiated deal with unions. Instead, it changes the tax law to make public benefits taxed in the same manner as everyone else’s income.

  19. Starbuck at 4:48 pm #

    Thanks for reply. We’ll never know what would’ve happened, but Faso has a lot of financial expertise and put forward serious fiscally conservative reform ideas in the ’06 campaign. I think there’s little doubt spending in 07 and 08 would have grown less under a Gov. Faso than it did under Spitzer-Paterson, so the deficit would be less now and need for revenue at least not as drastic. Still bad, but not as bad.

    There’s also little doubt he’d be proposing more state worker layoffs, and would have been pushing kinds of reforms many in Upstate say they want to see (mandate relief, property tax limits, Taylor, Wicks, scaffold, etc.) Just because he had the same letter R next to his name doesn’t mean he would’ve governed like Pataki and aligned himself with state unions as Pataki did.

    Am I imagining things to say there’s a disconnect? Basically most NY-staters seem to say they want governors who support faster-than-inflation spending growth as Spitzer did for two years (and as Cuomo and Pataki did before), and they also want to cry and whine when growth in taxes and/or fees are needed to pay for it.

    Tears about high taxes-fees from Spitzer supporters look like the crocodile variety. Comparisons of Spitzer’s campaign proposals to Faso’s were night and day. The latter proposed substantively what people who say NY is hard to ❤ claim they want.


  1. Buffalo Geek -

    The Paterson Plan: Pay Up or Move Out…

    If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!
    When I started reading through Governor David Paterson’s proposal to close a looming $15.4BN state budget deficit, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  …

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