Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, I, C – Batavia) applauded the Governor’s announcement today that he has decided to remove $1.3 billion in new and increased taxes and fees from his Executive Budget proposal. Since the proposal was presented in December, the Governor’s plan received widespread criticism from Hawley and residents across the state.
“Clearly, taxing the people of this state is not the right answer and I am pleased that the Governor has finally come to that realization. Hopefully, his announcement today will help move the rest of the leadership in Albany toward a state budget agreement that is fiscally responsible and works to stimulate our economy, both now and for the long haul. We need to take a hard look at the way Albany does business in order to help ensure that small businesses, corporations, manufacturers and farmers are not out of business,” said Hawley.
The Governor rescinded his plan to create and increase taxes and fees in light of the funds New York State is receiving as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. While this announcement is good news for taxpayers, many groups are unhappy with the Governor’s plan to redirect the federal funds. As the Assemblyman explains, “The federal dollars are a shot in the arm, a one-time deal that we should be using to help develop a comprehensive economic plan so that our current fiscal situation is not repeated. These dollars are not a bail out. But there are programs, like education and healthcare, that were looking forward to those stimulus dollars to help them balance their budgets. Looks like now that option will be off the table and the Governor has not stated how this will affect his proposed cuts for education and healthcare yet.”
Hawley continued, “While I am thrilled that taxpaying residents will not be forced to pay taxes on going to the movies, soda, and gym memberships, I am still concerned that there are still billions missing from the equation that will inevitably force someone’s taxes to go up. The Governor has already proposed to eliminate the property tax rebate check and reduce STAR exemptions. The problem with the Governor’s new plan is that next year there will not be this type of federal money coming in. His plan does nothing to stop the problem at its root – Albany’s addiction to spending. I hope that with an even greater budget deficit ahead of us the legislative leaders will finally take action to get spending under control.”