As I left the house this morning, my son was watching an episode of Scooby Doo and of course Scooby uttered his famous line. I laughed. Yet it reminded me of dealing with our state government. Every time you turn around, there is another bill or budget item that makes you say “ruh roh.”
We were in Albany yesterday partnering with several other business groups advocating that a list of bills we dubbed “Dirty Dozen” be killed off due to their impact on our economy. Our message was well received and we got commitments from several members that they would not support the passage of the bills. That was positive. And it got a bit better after we met with Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson (no relation) who reiterated his commitment to no new taxes and fees in this year’s budget. And later on, when we met with Senate Minority Leader Skelos, he also said they wouldn’t support any more taxes or fees. We even had a chance to thank him and his members for recently voting down a budget extender that included a new $2 million dollar tax on manufacturing firms in New York. Yep, you got it, an actual vote against a new tax. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, always a champion of Unshackle Upstate and our efforts, was again rock solid with his commitment not to raise state spending or create more taxes and fees. It was great.
But, alas, it wasn’t all good news. We got wind that the budget discussions were moving along and we could be looking at a budget within the next two weeks. And while a budget would mean that we finally have some form of a functioning government, the numbers we heard we startling and appalling.
The rumor was that spending levels would increase by about 4% over the current budget. That would place it somewhere in the $136-137 billion dollar range. Frankly, that’s way too much. And to make matters worse, instead of actually cutting spending, they are talking about bonding $2 billion dollars of the deficit. Imagine that. Instead of cutting spending (not controlling growth– don’t get the two confused– we need actual spending reductions) they want to borrow the money and pay it upcoming years. But even with that, there will still be more tax and fee increases in the budget…perhaps as much as $2 billion dollars. That would be on top of the $8 billion in new taxes and fees they hit us with last year.
Friends, we simply cannot allow that to happen. We need each and every New York resident that has had enough of the tax and spend culture to send a message to their elected official right now. We don’t have an option. If we don’t raise a stink about this then the numbers I shared earlier will become a reality. We’ve made it easy for you. Just follow this link. And please don’t hesitate. We really are running out of time to send our elected officials a clear message…we will not tolerate more spending and taxes!!
And while you’re at it, we still need that property tax cap. We have to find a way to start to control the unsustainable growth of school and property taxes. Wow, wouldn’t it be something if in the course of preparing the budget, they actually put a REAL tax cap in place to start providing us some relief? Again, it is easy to tell your elected official you want the tax cap. Just follow this link.
Now is not the time to be bashful my friends. Let’s not put ourselves in a position where a couple of weeks from now, when we are analyzing the budget, and saying “ruh roh.” Now is the time to say we’ve had ENOUGH.
And if they aren’t going to listen, then Judgment Day is coming on November 2, 2010.