It seems the only sure thing about this year’s state budget is that it will sock taxpayers yet again — even as state leaders flush yet new billions down the drain.
Facing slim odds lawmakers would legalize marijuana by the March 31 budget deadline, Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday pulled his pot sales tax from his spending plan. To replace it, he’s backing a pied-à-terre surcharge (on city condos and coops over $5 million).
Experts say it’s risky to rely on revenue from a pied-à-terre tax, which anyway should go to the city, not the state.
But lawmakers figure it’ll mostly hit wealthy out-of-towners, so they’ll be spared voters’ wrath. Politics trumps common sense.
And taxpayers will likely get hit twice. After all, if marijuana is OK’d later, as Cuomo expects, it’s sure to be taxed. Think lawmakers will then repeal the pied-à-terre tax? Ha!
Cuomo also wants a new “congestion” tax: tolls on drivers below 61st Street in Manhattan. And an Internet sales tax. And another five years of the millionaires tax . . .
Here’s the scariest part: With more than a week left before the deadline, who knows what other new taxes they’ll tack on?
Yet even with all the cash pouring in, Albany faces a budget squeeze. Cuomo warns that the Senate wants to shell out $3 billion beyond what he’s budgeted. To help cover that spending, he suggested scrapping $420 million a year in handouts to film moguls.
“The Senate is against tax credits, right? That was their position on Amazon,” Cuomo chided. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they proposed cutting the film tax credit.” Sadly, he was mainly just zinging Amazon foe Sen. Michael Gianaris.
Still, Cuomo claimed he’d ax the Hollywood credits himself, rather than cut education or health care. Why not both?
The giveaways for film folks do absolutely nothing to create permanent jobs in New York. And the state also wastes a fortune on health care and schools (on which it shells out twice the US per-student average).
Alas, with Democrats now fully in charge, Albany’s tax-and-spend habits are only getting worse. Brace for impact.
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