Last Tuesday, Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said that he and his conference oppose the Executive Budget proposal to extend a tax on utilities, calling it a “new tax” that hurts ratepayers and New York’s attempts to lure new businesses.

The tax, referred to as the “18-a surcharge,” was imposed in 2009 in the aftermath of the stock market meltdown; it is currently scheduled to expire at the end of the 2013-14 fiscal year. Gov. Cuomo has proposed extending it for an additional five years.

Watch Karyn Burns of MACNY explain their opposition to the proposed 18-a extender on behalf of the manufacturing community.

Unshackle Upstate opposed the original 2009 18-a increase, and since then we have called for its repeal.   We applaud Senator Skelos and his conference in opposing the proposed extension of this tax, and plan to support them as the budget process moves forward.

The 18-a surcharge is a regressive, hidden tax.  As New Yorkers are burdened with the 3rd highest energy costs in the nation, lawmakers should be looking for ways to reduce the high cost of energy.