MAKING CITY HURT ALL OVER
NO ONE IS SAFE FROM TAX SMACK IN STATE BUDGET
March 31, 2009
We was robbed!
From the top of The Bronx to the bottom of The Battery, New Yorkers of all income levels will get socked in the wallet thanks to a taxing new state budget -- with some households plopping down thousands more, a Post analysis has found.
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A Big Apple family of five with a combined income of $450,000 will end up shelling out at least an additional $5,200 a year more under the budget agreed to by Gov. Paterson and legislative leaders.
A middle-class family of four with a $95,000 income could have to cough up over $850 more than they did a year earlier, according to The Post's calculations.
And a swinging single guy living in the city will likely put out another $336.72.
The hefty increase includes higher taxes slapped on staples like cigars and 12 packs of beer -- as well as expected hikes in subway fares, since the budget made no provisions for the cash-strapped MTA.
The heads of The Post's fictional family of five will pay the most in new taxes thanks to their income of $450,000.
They'll fork over $4,320 extra in state income tax alone thanks to the "millionaire's tax," which whacks households earning over $300,000 with a 1 percent hike.
The Post reached that number by adjusting their taxable income with $3,000 in deductions for their three children, and the $15,000 standard deduction.
As steep as their new bill is, their more affluent neighbors will be hit even harder. New Yorkers who earn over $500,000 will see their personal income tax rate jump from 6.85 percent to 8.97 percent.
Those hikes -- which are supposed to expire after three years -- are expected to raise around $4 billion this year.
The Post's middle-class family will also be slapped with a slew of new taxes and fees.
While their income tax remains the same, they will be stung with new fees on sundries as well as a steep $100 surcharge on their electric bill and another $90 on their HMO fees.
In Albany, Paterson and legislative leaders called a press conference yesterday to tout the $132 billion budget as fiscally prudent, despite a spending increase of 9 percent and a $4 million income-tax hike he had repeatedly called a "last resort."
"None of this makes sense," Paterson said. "We don't want to tax the wealthy. We don't want to put these taxes in and raise fees. We don't want to hold our school budgets at zero increase. We don't want to lay workers off. This is a response to a crisis."
Paterson blamed the budget's record-breaking $10.5 billion surge on an influx of federal stimulus money and praised lawmakers for making what he said was $6.5 billion in cuts.
But Mayor Bloomberg and business groups said the lack of restraint shown by Albany would hurt the state economically. Lawmakers hope to begin passing the budget bill today.
"The state is going to have to raise taxes," Bloomberg said. "They don't seem to have a lot of stomach for cutting back expense, and they've got to meet their bills."
In addition, many business groups were outraged with the budget, claiming it was stuffed with thousands of pet projects.
"What it says about the attitude is really troubling," said Manhattan Institute analyst E.J. McMahon. "In the most severe recession in 70 years, they are stuffing the pork barrel as if it's business as usual."
Earmarks include $6,500 to Utica Curling Club and $5,000 to the Urban Yoga Foundation, according to the Manhattan Institute. http://www.nypost.com/seven/03312009/news/regionalnews/making_city_hurt_all_over_162175.htm