The Department of Labor recently released the unemployment rate, which has risen from 9.7 percent in August to 9.8 percent in September, putting the current unemployment rate at the highest it has been in 15 years. Additionally, analysts are predicting these numbers will only continue to rise in the next few months.
As we look for solutions to New York state’s budget woes in the coming weeks and months, I want to encourage my colleagues and those in the Senate to resist the urge to further increase taxes on small businesses and hardworking families. The small businesses of our community are the backbone of our economy; raising taxes on them will not only increase unemployment as they slowly begin to shut their doors, but will drive them to states where they can better afford to stay in business.
Increasing taxes on hardworking families already struggling to make ends meet adds an unnecessary burden in an already difficult time. It is critical that we focus on reforming state government and the high levels of spending that have consumed our financial resources. Trying to fix our revenue problems with tax and fee increases will not solve our state’s fiscal crisis; in fact, they will only make it worse.