February 2, 2011

Voting Against the Taxpayers

Two days ago, the State Senate passed a tax cap that caps annual tax increases at no more than two percent above the previous year. While it's not tax relief, it will force local school districts and municipalities to start living within their means and not on the backs of us, the taxpayers. The cap passed the Senate by a vote of 45-17, with 13 Democrats joining all of the Republicans in supporting the cap.

The 17 who voted against the cap were Dan Squadron, Joe Addabbo, Bill Perkins, Tony Avella, Liz Krueger, Ruben Diaz Sr., Jose Peralta, Martin Dilan, Tom Duane, Adriano Espaillat, Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Carl Kruger, Velmanette Montgomery, Kevin Parker, Gustavo Rivera, Toby Ann Stavisky and Jose Serrano. We mention that because all 17 of the dissenters hail from, shockingly, New York City.

We've talked about the disconnect between NYC and the rest of the state many times. Despite the fact that the 17 knew the legislation would pass, they voted against it because that's what their constituency demands of them. The rest of the state is demanding relief from the state's crushing tax burden. You can't get further apart.

We are holding out hope that Andrew Cuomo's spending-slashing budget will pass. That being said, we're not optimistic. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is so beholden to lobbyists, special interests and welfare recipients that he, and his New York City brethren, is not going to take the proposed budget fight lying down. Meanwhile, the separation between downstate and upstate grows even wider.

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