Jacobs Says State Budget Rejects Nuisance Fees on Hardworking New Yorkers, Asks Wealthy To Pay Fair Share

April 1, 2009
Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush) announced that the 2009-2010 state budget rejects a laundry list of new taxes and fees included in the executive budget to help ensure families aren’t nickel-and-dimed during these challenging economic times. Rescinding these proposals will save New York families more than $3 billion over the next two years.

Removing $1.3 billion in Nuisance Taxes

The final plan rejects the executive budget’s proposed taxes on:

  • digital downloads – saving New Yorkers an estimated $15 million in 2009-10 and $20 million in 2010-11;
  • flavored malt beverages – saving New Yorkers an estimated $15 million annually;
  • cable and satellite television and radio services – saving New Yorkers about $136 million in 2009-10 and $180 million in 2010-11;
  • non-diet soft drinks – saving New Yorkers an estimated $404 million in 2009-10 and $539 million in 2010-11;
  • haircuts, nail salon visits and other personal services items – saving New Yorkers an estimated $78 million in 2009-10 and $104 million in 2010-11;
  • movie tickets, sporting events and other entertainment-related purchases – saving New Yorkers an estimated $53 million in 2009-10 and $70 million in 2010-11;
  • filing a paper tax return, saving New Yorkers $6.8 million;
  • capital improvements on homes – saving New Yorkers an estimated $120 million in 2009-10 and $160 million in 2010-11;
  • store coupons – saving New Yorkers an estimated $3 million in both 2009-10 and 2010-11; and
  • a 4 percent sales tax increase on clothing and footwear under $110 – saving New Yorkers about $462 million in 2009-10 and $660 million in 2010-11.

“The regressive tax and fee hikes proposed in the executive budget would have resulted in difficult choices and hardships for families,” said Jacobs. “We can’t expect millions of New Yorkers to balance the state’s budget themselves by scrounging up extra bucks for nearly every aspect of family activity, including gym memberships, haircuts and ballgames. Instead, the wealthiest New Yorkers must contribute a bit more during tough times.”

Asking the Wealthy to do their Fair Share

Assistant Speaker Jacobs said the budget does not increase personal income taxes for over 97 percent of New Yorkers. Under a fairer system, the budget imposes a temporary personal income tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers. Those families earning $300,000 to $500,000 per year will be taxed about 1 percentage point more for a total of 7.85 percent; and those families earning over $500,000 per year will be taxed at 8.97 percent.

“Currently in New York it doesn’t matter if you make $40,000 or $40 million – you pay the same 6.85 percent tax rate. That puts a greater burden on the middle class,” Jacobs said. “These modest tax increases for high-income earners – less than 3 percent of New Yorkers – will help provide the dollars necessary for education, health care and other vital services during a very critical fiscal crisis.”