Hawley Calls On State To Lower Taxes, Cut Spending

In observance of New York State’s Tax Freedom Day today, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-I-C – Batavia) held a press conference in Albany with members of the Assembly Minority Conference to call attention to the excessively high taxes, both federal and state, that New Yorkers are currently forced to pay.

“Our state has one of the most expensive tax systems in the nation. These outrageously high taxes are forcing businesses and residents out of state. Enough is enough. Albany must enact serious tax-relieving legislation now in order to deliver the long-overdue relief that both taxpayers and businesses need,” said Hawley.

Tax Freedom Day is recognized nationwide as the day by which the average taxpayer will have worked in order to pay for his or her federal, state and local taxes. New York State ranks third in the nation for highest taxes, forcing taxpayers to work an average of 125 days in order to pay taxes. That’s 125 days’ worth of the entire income earned by an individual taxpayer. Only New Jersey and Connecticut have highest taxes at 127 and 128 days of income, respectively.

According to Scott Hodge, President of the Tax Foundation, Americans spend more on taxes than on food, clothing and housing combined. The average American needs 35 days of income for food costs, 13 days for clothing and 60 days for housing.

The bulk of the taxes that force New York State’s ranking so high are the federal and state income taxes, although other taxes contribute. To combat this problem, Hawley is calling on the state to enact legislation that would cut state spending and deliver much-needed tax relief. “Our plan is simple – cut state spending, stop borrowing money, and return the savings directly to the taxpayers of the state,” said the Assemblyman, who is also calling on the federal government to follow suit.

Specifically, Hawley is calling for the passage of several legislative initiatives that, if enacted this session, would have a direct impact on reducing the tax burden of New York families by reducing property taxes, enhancing the child care credit, increasing the dependent credit and establishing a summertime gas tax holiday for motorists from Memorial Day to Labor Day 2008.