“Today’s announcement by Governor Paterson that $1.3 billion in new or enhanced taxes and fees will be eliminated from the state budget is a big win for middle-class families in the 9th Assembly District and across Long Island,” said Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C-East Northport). “Higher taxes during an economic recession would only speed the loss of jobs, homes and income that too many New Yorkers are now facing. According to the Assembly Minority Ways and Means Committee, Governor Paterson’s 137 taxes and fees, including new taxes on soda, sports and digital downloads, would have cost the average family in my district an extra $3,875.45 annually. A heavy new tax burden like the one contained in Governor Paterson’s 2009-10 budget could have potentially led to the loss of one in ten jobs in our communities.
We must not forget, however, that the governor’s plan to further cut hospital and school-aid spending is still on the table. His plan to eliminate the Middle Class STAR rebate checks to taxpayers also remains. The federal stimulus money diverted to cover the elimination of unnecessary and unwelcome taxes on middle-class Long Islanders means that families in our area are still facing drastic cuts for vital services like hospitals and nursing homes. If the state will not cover these costs, counties are left holding the bag, resulting in increased property and sales taxes and a diminished quality of life on Long Island. I had fought for the elimination of the governor’s new taxes; I hope friends and neighbors in the 9th Assembly District will now join me in resisting cuts to our health care and education.”