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$8 Billion in New Taxes and Fees on Whom?

BeerThe print edition of today’s Buffalo News features two extra editorial pages. Resembling two full-page ads, the “Buffalo News Editorial Opinion: Say No to State Government Incompetence” lists over 75 new taxes, fees, and other “revenue raising items.” But rather than let the figures speak for themselves, a large upper-case font, superimposed over the list shouts “THE STATE BUDGET IMPOSED $8 BILLION IN NEW TAXES AND FEES ON YOU.”

Makes your blood boil, doesn’t it? Here I am, Joe twelve-pack, working my fingers to the bone, and now those fat cats in Albany are trying to steal my hard earned money with the following measures sure to keep the little man down. They want to raise:

$4.78 billion by increasing the personal income tax rate by 1-2% on people making over $200,000 (We all know how hard it is getting by on 200 grand a year.)

$200 million by limiting itemized deductions, except charitable, on incomes over $1,000,000 (I work hard for my million dollars a year. Now some politician wants to limit my tax deductions? WTF?)

$10 million by imposing a tax on the sale of partnerships by nonresidents (I was in Miami over the weekend, bitching on my buddies yacht about how the founding fathers would never stand for such BS)

$5 million by closing timetable loopholes for claiming state residency (Now they want to tell me where I can and can’t live receive my mail? TYRANNY!)

$6.3 million on sales tax avoidance affecting vehicle, aircraft, and marine sales (Thank God I bought that Learjet last year)

$29 million by closing the captive insurance corporation tax (One more income-sheltering provision stolen from us little guys.)

$171.6 million by placing a 1.75% tax on accident/health premiums on for-profit Health Maintenance Organizations (Nobody gets into the health insurance business for the money. For example, Alphonso O’Neill-White, local CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield is forced to make due on $8,300/day. Now they want to cut into that narrow profit margin?)

$124 million by restoring a .35% assessment charge for hospitals (A hospital bed costs as much as a new car. How will they make ends meet if we resume this outrageous tax, especially when you consider that most of the money hospitals make comes from the State and Federal governments in the first place?)

$240 million by hiking health care premiums $45 for a WNY family policy (The money has to come from somewhere. Don’t look to Alphonso to eat some of that charge—this ain’t the USSR, yet.)

$1.2 million by increasing penalties for food safety violations (Is it not enough that my frozen hamburger company works around the clock slaughtering cows? Now I have to make sure there are no cow patties mixed in? Don’t come crying to me when you run out of food at your 4th of July cookout—I tried my best to provide.)

$5 million by increasing fees for pollutant discharge permits (Great. My company creates an insane amount of pollutants. Now I’m expected to pay more for the privilege of pouring them into the Niagara river? No thanks. Same goes for the $5 million they want to raise by doubling fees on all the pesticides I need.)

$500,000 by increasing fees for facilities that emit contaminants (See above. Let’s not forget the $300,000 they expect to raise by heaping fees and penalties on explosives handlers. Good luck with that one. Are you gonna be the one to ask for a dime from a man holding a stick of dynamite? Don’t tread on me!)

$2.7 million by nearly doubling the fees to run my nuclear power plant (Mr. Burns would never stand for such an outrage in Springfield.)

$400,000 by slapping a fine on uncertified crane operators (What’s next? Raising the cost of trying to win a stuffed animal from the Claw machine at Chuck E Cheese? I mean, how hard is it to operate a crane on a high-rise above pedestrians?)

$50 million in fees on non-LLC partnerships (Communism, plain and simple.)

$1 million by charging $10 to enter horses in races (Looks like it’s time to sell the mansion in Saratoga and move the thoroughbreds down to Florida.)

$115 million by charging a five-cent deposit on bottled water  (How many people will die of dehydration at the gym thanks to this cruel and short-sited policy? Don’t they know that water is better when it comes encased in a petroleum-based product?)

$476 million by “sweeping” cash from the NY Power Authority into the general fund (The Authority has worked hard for decades earning that $476 million. Now the state wants to take it away? Write your elected officials and demand that money be quickly returned to the Authority. THEY didn’t get us into this mess. ALBANY did.)

The list of outrages perpetrated by our elected officials against the common man goes on and on.

And look how these seemingly little changes can effect the entire economy. You ride a motorcycle? It’s gonna cost you $3.50 more to register it, Easy Rider. That will translate into fewer motorcycles on the road. Fewer motorcycles on the road translates to fewer trips by Mercy Flight next summer. Fewer trips by Mercy Flight translates to fewer hospital procedures combined with loss of revenue in the funeral home sector—not to mention fewer clients for physical therapists. Who pays in the end? YOU!

Last but not least these sickos in our state capital want to raise $14 million by bumping up the tax on a gallon of beer by 3 cents. Which one of them is gonna have the guts to explain to my daughter that her college fund will be effectively eaten up by their irresponsibility and unbridled greed?

  • Peter A Reese

    These new increases will have the founding fathers rolling in their graves. After all, they owned slaves, thought even their wives were property, counted native americans and slaves as three-fifths people, and disenfranchised just about everybody else. Ohh for the good old days!

  • Hoss

    While some of these measures probably are good public policy, it’s a bit short-sighted to look at each of these in the way you have. Increasing taxes on businesses and business owners will lead to an increase in the cost of living for middle class people, plain and simple. I’m not against all tax increases, good programs should be funded and it’s resposible to fund them with actual revenues instead of debt, but that’s not what happens. In our political system, it is much easier to pass these types of increases, because of the thinking that you used in crafting your piece, than it is to cut funding programs that may be the the pet program of certain campaign funding contributors or political allies. This leads to a cycle of increasing spending and taxes, rather than responsible taxation policies to fund necessary and efficiently run government programs. We need to take a hard look at which programs are necessary and which programs are unnecessary and control our spending rather than creatively increasing taxes little by little.