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Albany, worse than a train wreck, it’s an everything wreck

June 25, 2010

Call-to-Action: Albany wants your $$$ to pay for its overspending

Jun 24 2010
Filed In: Chamber Perspective  by: Andrew Rudnick

A proposal to defer 50 percent of business tax incentives for three years remains under active discussion by the Governor and legislative leaders this week. Simply stated, this would amount to little more than the government borrowing from NY businesses (you!) to pay for excessive spending that lawmakers are unwilling to trim.

take action here: http://blog.unshackleupstate.com/2010/06/call-to-action-albany-wants-your-to-pay-for-its-overspending/

We’ve been Waiting…

Jun 18 2010
Filed In: The Week Behind Us  by: Karissa Grant

Judgment Day is only 137 days away.  We, the taxpayers, are waiting.  We are waiting for change…waiting for a budget…waiting for our legislators to listen to what we have to say.  We’ve made some progress, but there still is a great deal left to do.

So, for the past 3 months, what has been going on? What are we still waiting for? What state are we in?  Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the UGLY!

The Good

  • The Governor has stated publicly to support no borrowing in the budget plan
  • UU social media campaign experienced record growth to over 19,000 fans – indicative of significant voter dismay.
  • UU developed and pushed billions in acceptable, recurring spending cuts
  • 2 dozen business groups traveled to Albany to opposition against Dirty Dozen
  • Unshackle Upstate has submitted a REAL property tax cap legislation similar to Massachusetts Proposition 2.5

The Bad

  • Governor – had to issue a drop dead date for the budget (not necessarily a good one) to be passed by June 28th
  • Upstate NY continues to be the home of the 10 highest taxed counties in the country as percentage of home value.
  • Legislators have yet to enact the $billions of proposed budget cuts
  • NY’s Medicaid budget stays greater than the entire budget of more than 43 states.
  • A property tax cap has still not been put in place to offer ALL residents of NY some tax relief
  • The Senate passed the prevailing wage mandate for service workers which will extend wage mandate requirements to private businesses with a focus on energy companies (more taxes for us!)

The UGLY

  • The budget has YET to be passed (Are we even shocked?)
  • Paterson’s budget proposal includes $2 billion added to the budget, $1.4 billion in new taxes
  • Spending levels would increase about 4% over the current budget because last year apparently tought them nothing
  • Legislators want to control growth instead of cutting spending… (Hello! It’s still growing!)

What does all of this mean?

It means you’ve got to speak up, you’ve got to get your voice heard…and you have 137 days left to make it happen!  Send a letter, send an e-mail, make a phone call and tell your legislator that you are not happy! http://bit.ly/8ZFjCp

The Judgment Day Scorecard (click here for sample) will be frequently updated to provide New Yorkers with information on how each of the 212 legislators vote on various pro-taxpayer and job creator legislation, as well as on this year’s state budget. So by the time November 2, 2010 rolls around…you’ll know exactly what to do!

Judgment Day is coming…let them know that we’re watching!

Hiding in the bushes…

Filed In: Voices of NYS Taxpayers  by: Brian Sampson

There is a funny thing that happens in Albany around budget time.  There are pieces of legislation that are hiding in the bushes that end up being a tax on you and I.  Some taxes are in your face, while others get to you in a more circuitous route.  And just remember, that even though you can’t see or directly touch a “tax”, there are many of them out there.

Take for example some of the bills that are being considered this week:

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (S.7903-B Thompson/A.11004-A Englebright)

(http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S7093B)

Telecom Merger Bill (S.7263 Foley/A.2208-C Brodsky)

(http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/api/1.0/html/bill/S7263)

 Limitations on Greenhouse Gas Emissions (S.4315-C Thompson/A.7572 Sweeney)

(http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S4315C)

Now, while some of them may seem like good things, the reality is that they are hidden taxes.  And those hidden taxes will ultimately find their way into our pocketbooks through increased rates for electric, gas and telecommunication services.  Yet, we will hear from the elected officials that the effected company shouldn’t have to pass on those increases to the end user.  That’s hogwash.  Many of the companies that we get our utilities through are either publicly traded and have a responsibility to their shareholders or they are for-profit companies that need to make money to grow and invest in new technology as our demands grow.

Think back to last year.  In the budget bomb of 2009, where we got hit with more than $8 billion in new taxes and fees, there were some clearly in your face increases.  Things like a car registration rate hike, a fishing license increase, and the all too obvious personal income tax increase.  But there were lots of hidden ones too.

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