Reclaim New York Initiative Launches Statewide Drive to Fight Cuomo’s $1B Tax Bomb, Urges Citizen Action

Group to hold regional press conferences with taxpayers and officials to stop the lies about federal tax reform, economic development waste, and proposed $1 billion tax and fee hike.

(New York, NY) – Today, Reclaim New York Initiative announced the “Stop the Tax Bomb” grassroots campaign in opposition to a slew of proposals in the Governor’s executive budget that would add nearly $1 billion in tax and fee increases to New York’s already struggling families and businesses.

The group is urging citizens who already pay the highest tax burden in the nation to speak out against the proposals by contacting their state legislators to demand the new taxes and fees be stripped from the budget as negotiations continue in Albany.

“Governor Cuomo’s budget would snatch the savings New Yorkers are seeing thanks to federal tax reform. That money is for the people, not another handout to Albany insiders” said Reclaim New York Initiative Executive Director Brandon Muir. “The Governor has gone around the state blaming Washington for New York’s terrible tax and job climate. The truth is Albany’s budget process has been disastrous for years, and Albany’s failed policies have only made things worse.”

If you’re ready to push back on the $1 billion tax bomb, check out Reclaim New York Initiative’s action alert here.

Amendments that would add a new payroll tax system and state-controlled charities are targeted for only a small sliver of New Yorkers, and are an unworkable distraction. Experts have called into question their legality and complexity.

“Stop the lies, the waste, the spending we can’t afford, and the state’s addiction to tax increases. The governor’s budget would increase the cost of everything from internet purchases to healthcare, forcing even more New Yorkers to flee the state,” Muir stated.

“More spending on pet projects, state bureaucracy, and shady economic development programs that don’t create jobs won’t make New York more affordable. No honest official would claim it would,” said Muir.

Reclaim New York Initiative has launched radio advertisements across Central New York, the Southern Tier, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley as part of the campaign to drive citizen opposition to tax hikes in the budget. The group will host press conferences featuring local citizens in these regions over the coming weeks.

The budget’s billion-dollar tax bomb includes:

  • $75 million (soon to become $159 million) internet sales tax expansion – making online shopping even more expensive for New Yorkers, smashing constitutional taxpayer protections, and invading privacy.
  • $140 million, 14% Health Insurance Windfall Profit Tax – driving up the cost of health insurance in a state where premiums are already second-highest in the nation on average, and premiums are taxed to the tune of $4 billion.
  • $500 million tax on conversions of health insurers – an unreliable revenue grab targeting the sale of Fidelis, a Catholic Church-affiliated non-profit insurer.
  • $3 million for-hire Vehicle Safety Inspection Fee – targeting certain types of passenger carriers and making it more difficult for them to do business.
  • $127 million tax on opioids – making the cost of buying prescription painkillers more expensive while investing only $18 million in drug & alcohol treatment.
  • MTA property tax or “value capture” legislation –  this proposal would create special districts near Subway stops allowing the MTA to tax residents even more.
  • Highway right-of-way fee on fiber optic cables – just as the state spends big tax dollars on broadband expansion, the budget includes a fee that slows expansion and makes it more expensive.

New Yorkers pay more while Albany spends more on failed, wasteful initiatives:

      • Nearly $1 billion more on economic development programs – dumping more tax dollars into the most expensive, least effective economic development programs in the nation (according to an Upjohn Institute report).
        • Including $45 million for more glitzy promotional ads and a $30 million fund to cover for photonics failures.
      • No independent oversight for economic development – the Governor’s proposal empowers political appointees, despite an ongoing corruption trial surrounding a former top aide and economic development bid-rigging allegations.
      • More money for REDCs, no transparency on conflicts of interest– the “Hunger Games” will continue to operate with untold conflicts of interest the public cannot see, ineffective reporting of results, and weak transparency.
      • $225 million for a shared services gimmick – a publicity stunt to help Albany dodge responsibility for its role in driving high property taxes across the state. Instead of real mandate reform, this program uses state tax dollars to pay for limited savings from sharing local services.
      • Increases state bureaucracy and fringe benefits.

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