Assemblyman Dennis H Gabryszak responds to the release of New York Governor David Paterson’s proposed budget that calls to close next year’s record $13.7 billion budget deficit with $7.2 billion of spending cuts and $4.1 billion from increased taxes and fees.
Going into special session, Assemblyman Gabryszak acknowledged, “The Governor said this would be a very tough budget year.” And he has made it public, that it is necessary to look at all areas. “Nothing is sacred and we must be willing to make significant cuts in order to keep the state solvent. We are going to have to consider even health care and education in order to balance our budget,” he maintains. “It’s difficult to do it, but it is necessary to get the state back on strong financial footing.”
Governor Paterson’s plan would increase taxes on insurance policies, create an "obesity tax" on non-diet sodas, revive the state sales tax on clothing, and potentially shift more health costs to individuals after changing funding and taxing in the healthcare field. Plus, his budget includes cutting $500 million dollars to health care savings, an expansion of the 5 cent bottle deposit to non-carbonated beverages and a SUNY tuition increase.
Assemblyman Gabryszak not only wants to review where cuts can be made, but looks for new ways to raise revenue without raising or adding taxes. One way, is through his current sponsored legislation (A.11733) to require the use of counterfeit-resistant encrypted cigarette tax stamps. The system would track tobacco items, fight black market products and collect millions in lost cigarette excise and sales tax revenues currently lost by illegal smuggling.