Walsh Advocates For Needed Relief For New Yorkers

Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston) today stood with members of the Assembly Minority Conference, business groups and small-business owners to announce legislation that would suspend state sales tax on a wide range of goods and services in order to provide New Yorkers with financial relief necessary to manage skyrocketing prices. The “Inflation Relief & Consumer Assistance Plan” (A.8481, Barclay) would lower prices on dozens of everyday items by eliminating sales tax charges for two years.

According to the most recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the prices Americans are paying for goods and services have increased dramatically during the past year. The overall Consumer Price Index – which measures the average costs of everyday products – climbed by a staggering 7.0 percent between December 2020 and December 2021. Based on these figures, the average consumer experiences a monthly increase in expenses of $375, while a family of four sees a monthly cost increase of $513 to their household budgets.

The “Inflation Relief & Consumer Assistance Plan” being introduced by the Assembly Minority immediately suspends state sales tax charges on various items such as gasoline, personal care products, housekeeping supplies and food purchases.

“With sales taxes, property taxes and income taxes ranking higher in New York than most other states, it is no secret that residents are already overburdened by the high cost of living,” said Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C-Ballston). “Now, consumers are feeling the strain on their wallets due to astronomical cost increases on basic expenses like groceries, gas, energy bills and dining out. I believe the legislation we are advocating for today would take necessary steps to keep our local and state economies afloat, while also providing relief to New York families.”

Through December 2021, state revenues have greatly exceeded expectations. New York revenues are $10 billion higher than accounted for in the 2021-2022 Enacted Budget and $2.7 billion greater than projected in the Mid-Year Financial Plan. Unfortunately, the economic news for consumers is far less positive, as cost increases have severely damaged household budgets. Some of the specific cost increases seen in the past year that would be alleviated by the “Inflation Relief & Consumer Assistance Plan” include:

  • Gas prices - up 49.6 percent
  • Energy prices - up 29.3 percent
  • Food away from home - up 6.0 percent
  • Housekeeping supplies - up 2.1 percent
  • Paper products - up 3.2 percent

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski), Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square), Ashley Ranslow, NFIB’s NY State Director; Rita Ferris, President of the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association and the 112th Assembly District’s very own Mike Maloney, owner of The Charlton Tavern also provided remarks at today’s press conference.

“We’re seeing the worst inflation in four decades and people have grown tired of it. Food, clothing, utilities, transportation – prices are rising on almost everything. How much more are New Yorkers supposed to take?” said Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski). “Our proposal will give all New Yorkers a measure of financial relief during an extremely difficult time. New York is in a strong financial position where revenues have exceeded expectations. Let’s pass on some needed savings to people who have fought through a pandemic and are now dealing with a crushing cost-of-living crisis that’s being felt in every community.”

“It’s critical we take action to help our middle-class families feel real relief,” said Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square). “This bill is a great first step toward providing help with essential expenses for New Yorkers. I’m proud to be advocating for this desperately needed relief with the Assembly Minority Conference.