Giglio: State Budget Sinks Albany To New Low

Statement from Assemblyman Joe Giglio (R,I,C,-Gowanda)

Nearly three months after the budget deadline expired, legislative leaders are finally moving forward with the process. Legislative leaders in the Assembly and Senate are pushing their two-way budget agreement through their respective houses with nearly party-line votes. These budget bills are being voted on without details of the revenue needed to support them, and their passage will complete a one-sided process that excluded any alternatives suggested by the Minority in either house from start to finish.

Although we are unsure of a comprehensive spending plan, we do know that increased taxes and fees are inevitable. These increases will continue to cripple taxpayers, who already are struggling in New York’s harsh tax climate. The increase of the state’s cigarette tax by $1.60 pushes the charge per pack to $4.35, netting New York the dubious distinction of possessing the highest cigarette levy in the nation. I opposed this tax increase which, once again, serves as an escape route for legislative leaders too afraid to make the common-sense decisions that will end Albany’s tax-and-spend mentality. In addition, I opposed the governor’s suggestion to increase the tax on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, which would have been another blow to our state’s overburdened families and households. While the passage of the state budget is near, the increased taxes and lack of tax relief contained in the budget are yet another step backward for families and taxpayers.