by Senator Jim Alesi (July 29, 2009)
Many of you have received your most recent utility bills, to discover that an additional 2% “mandated special state assessment” tax has been included. Many of you have called my office, asking how, in such a challenging economy, Albany could impose such a tax?
This year’s secretive budget negotiations between Governor David Paterson, Senator Malcolm Smith and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, produced the most disastrous budget for residents in New York State history and imposed hundreds of new taxes and fees on individuals and families, including the “Mandated Special State Assessment.” Please know I vigorously opposed this financial scheme.
As you are now aware, utility companies are obligated to collect this additional two percent assessment from all customers through March 2014. Though this assessment became effective July 1, 2009, it was voted on earlier this April. Knowing that this two percent assessment would be included in Senate Budget bill 59-B (Part NN), my colleagues and I in the Republican Conference introduced an amendment that would have eliminated this new, two percent assessment. Unfortunately, the amendment was defeated, and the bill was passed by the Senate Democratic Majority over my strong objection.
(The text of S.59-B, Part NN, and of the rejected Republican amendment can be read on my Facebook page, facebook.com/alesi).
Even more disheartening, is that the two percent assessment will likely not be the last tax or fee increase you experience from this year’s budget, which imposes an average of $2,350 in new taxes on middle-class families. From families to businesses, everyone will be affected.
I am currently joining several of my colleagues to repeal this onerous and insulting tax. In the meantime, my constituents – and all New Yorkers – will pay the price for worst budget in New York’s history.
Jim Alesi represents the 55th Senate District in the New York State