Fear and Flight
New York state taxes and the Governor's budget are in the news. The story in the Elmira Gazette quotes Frank Mauro of Fiscal Policy Institute, "New York benefited from the temporary income tax hike passed in 2003, Mauro said, which was passed over Pataki's veto. The tax, which expired on the last day of 2005, raised taxes to 7.7 percent for personal incomes over $500,000." As the NY Sun notes, "Mr. Pataki's proposed tax cuts, while having a relatively small impact in the upcoming budget year, would total more than $3 billion by two years from now." In a budget that struggles to meet state priorities, every billion dollars helps.
There is a better choice. In fact, The Better Choice Campaign recognizes that economically sound jobs require infra structure that the Governor's budget proposes to cut. Pataki proposes cutting education and hiking tuitions. The Campaign knows that cutting education, health care and other essential services will not result in job gains. We want budgets and fiscal policy expanding New York's middle class not strangling it.
The legislative year is just beginning in Albany. Our state legislators need to know our priorities and we need to know there are alternatives to tax cuts for the super-rich and service cuts for the rest of us. Once more, the Governor proposes cutting corporate taxes- bad idea. Businesses consistently look to an educated work force and good health care system as key elements for corporate growth in a state or moving to a state in the first place. The scare tactics of saying jobs will be lost has only produced fear-based proposals rather than sound proactive economic strategies. Local and national governments have been cutting corporate taxes like there's no tomorrow but the jobs they say will be created never ever arrive. So could our lawmakers and the media please stop falling for it!?
New Yorkers expect more than the same old fear and flights. All of our civic involvement will require legislators to be creative and proactive. So, let's get on it.