Governor David Paterson has preached his rhetoric of how we all must share the pain with his budget. Well, Paterson obviously forgot to include himself in his slew of cuts, but didn't forget to screw the people of New York with his stunning 137 proposed new and hiked taxes. The $121.1 billion plan represents the biggest tax hike in state history and slashes services across the board while, amazingly, still increasing spending by $1.4 billion.
Everyone will be touched by Paterson's sickening tax increases. The plan includes:
* An "iTunes tax" of 4 percent on videos, music or pictures downloaded from the Internet.
* A 4 percent entertainment tax on tickets to movies, concerts and sporting events.
* The tax on beer increases 24 cents per gallon, or more than double the current rate, which means about 30 cents a case.
* An 18 percent tax on nondiet soft drinks.
* A 4 percent tax on cable TV and satellite services.
* Hiking the cost of "personal" services - including haircuts, manicures, pedicures, massages and gym memberships - by 4 percent.
* A 4 percent sales tax on clothing and shoes under $500, except for two weeks out of the year.
* Elimination of the law that caps the state sales tax on gasoline at 8 cents per gallon.
* Boosting the average vehicle registration fee for drivers by $11, from $44 to $55. Fees for new or renewed licenses also would increase 25 percent, or increase from $50 to about $62 to renew a license over eight years.
In addition, all drivers would have to get new, "reflectorized" license plates at a fee of $25 each.
The plan also calls for the state to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores, which will drive small businesses out of business.
Paterson has been flying high with his approval ratings. After this fiasco of a budget, which will make the state even less competitive, we should all be getting a serious dose of reality.