Angry New Yorker

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Here we go again. More New York budget debacles. Same old tune, different tax rate.
State Budget Battle Gotham Gazette reports:
"In defiance of Governor George Pataki, the New York State legislature last night began passing a budget that would raise taxes to avoid deep cuts in education and health-care programs. The plan, backed by Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, restores about $1.9 billion in spending cuts called for in Pataki's budget, and legislative leaders say it will provide Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the help he needs to close the city's budget gap. To do this, the budget calls for a temporary surcharge that would increase the personal income tax rate on households earning above $150,000 a year from 6.85 percent to 7.5 percent. It would also increase the sales tax by a quarter-cent statewide. New York City could hike the sales tax an additional 0.25 percent, bringing the total sales tax in the city to 8.75 percent. [ed. note - a boon to Internet shopping where many NYkers now go to side-step NYS taxes.]
Pataki immediately assailed the legislative budget as "fiscally irresponsible." Pledging to veto it, the governor also vowed to politically punish Democratic and Republican legislators who support it, setting the stage for what many predict will be a tough battle in Albany this spring. " [more]

Is there any wonder that New York is a mess when the thinking in Albany is not, "how can we cut spending" but "how can we avoid not spending?" With this sort of logic, entrenched lobbying groups and a broken legislature, the current fiscal follies are inevitable.

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