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Nightowl
12-16-2008, 10:03 PM
Gov. David Paterson Unveils Dire New York State Budget That Includes New Taxes, Layoffs and Cuts (http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/12/16/2008-12-16_gov_david_paterson_unveils_dire_new_york.html)

BY KENNETH LOVETT AND GLENN BLAIN
DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU

Updated Tuesday, December 16th 2008, 7:10 PM

ALBANY - Gov. Paterson released a $121 billion slash-and-burn budget Tuesday morning that slams New Yorkers with 88 new fees and taxes - even on their iPods.

Calling the budget the "greatest economic and fiscal challenge of our lifetimes," Paterson acknowledged his spending plan cuts deep.

But he said the pain must be shared to deal with the fallout from the Wall Street collapse.

The budget will cost the city an estimated $650 million in aid.
But it's the $4 billion in new fees and taxes that are sure to aggravate everyday New Yorkers, who would be paying more for a host of services:

An "iPod tax" that charges state and local sales tax for "digitally delivered entertainment services" - in other words, that new Beyonce song you download.

State sales tax at movie theaters, sporting events, taxis, buses, limousines and cable and satellite TV and radio.

Costlier driving with the repeal of the 8-cents-per-gallon sales tax cap on motor and diesel motor fuel, plus and increase in the auto rental tax.

Tuition increases at SUNY and CUNY, $620 and $600 a year respectively.

A 50 cent tax on cigars. The current tax is equal to 37% of the wholesale price, or 34 cents a cigar.

No more sales tax break on clothes and shoes worth $110 or less, except during two weeks a year.

Higher taxes on wine, beer and flavored malt beverages. He would also impose an 18% tax on non-nutritional drinks like soda.

The rich would pay more for luxury items through an additional 5% tax imposed on cars costing more than $60,000, aircraft costing more than $500,000, yachts costing at least $200,000 and jewelry and furs costing in excess of $20,000.

In addition, a host of a fees, including those related to motor vehicle licensing and registration, parks and auto insurance, would go up, as would various state-imposed fines.

Even with the cuts, the 2009-10 budget would increase a little more than 1%, the smallest hike since 1996-97.

Paterson said the state is facing a $51 billion shortfall over the next four years at a time when tax revenues are expected to drop 6.6% next year.

"This executive budget begins the difficult process of fundamentally reevaluating both how we manage our government and what the state can afford to spend in a time of plummeting revenues," Paterson wrote in a budget letter.

Paterson is asking lawmakers to pass a $1.7 billion plan by Feb. 1 to reduce the current year's budget deficit.

He then laid out a separate $121 billion spending plan for the 2009-10 fiscal year that begins April 1. He is asking the Legislature to adopt the new budget a month early.

Overall, Paterson is seeking $9.5 billion in cuts, which would mean the merging of several state agencies, the closing of four prisons and the trimming of the state workforce.

A 3.3% reduction in school aid translates into a $277 million decrease for the city.

Paterson claimed the city will be able to offset some of the cuts in aid by having the freedom to raise more money.

Billy Easton, executive director Alliance for Quality Education, said the governor's budget actually represents a $2.5 billion statewide hit to schools after factoring the money they were supposed to get under the existing school aid formula.

"Schools have been on the road to finally providing the educational quality the Constitution requires," Easton said. "This budget represents a U-turn for students."

While the Medicaid program would grow 3.8%, Paterson wants $3.5 billion in health care cuts that hospital and nursing homes have said will lead to closures.

A flurry of advocates and economists on Monday criticized Paterson for mostly burdening the poor and middle class while ignoring calls to increase the income tax for the rich.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said he supports hiking the income tax on the wealthy.

"I'd rather have a broad-based tax than nickel and dime various constituencies in this state," Silver said Monday.

Still, Silver indicated major cuts are in store.

"There is no question this is a serious time, that state revenues have a serious shortfall that will require dramatic actions," Silver said.

He said the state will have to consider "signficant cuts", seeking more aid from the federal government, and "some creative ways in which to create revenue this year."

Ross
12-17-2008, 06:30 AM
closing of four prisons

I assume that means they jam them like sardines in to some other prison ?

In times like these I would have expected a need for more prisons to handle
a crime rate driven by desperation .

To be frank this action sounds a little shortsighted .

BirdGuano
12-17-2008, 05:05 PM
I can see California taking notes on this shit already.

Renegade
12-17-2008, 05:42 PM
I can see California taking notes on this shit already.

And Florida is probably right there with them...probably sharing carbon paper....:cool: