New Job-Killing Tax Proposals Continue with 2010-11 Budget

Legislative column by Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I-Pulaski)

The budget gap is large. Somehow, the state has to close what’s approaching a $10 billion budget gap. Unfortunately, the budget proposals out there contain new job-killing taxes and fees to try and close that gap. Indeed, $1.2 billion in new taxes. This is the same type of action that has earned our state the unfriendly-to-business reputation it has acquired.

The new proposals come on the heels of last year’s budget, which contained 67 new job- killing taxes and fees. There were all sorts of measures passed—from new gas taxes, to higher prices to replace your license, to more taxes on necessities such as utility bills as well.

This year’s budget proposal contains more of the same. I wanted to take a minute today to mention some of the taxes being considered. If passed, these measures will only worsen our state’s financial picture and ensure the next generation be forced to compensate for our fiscal mismanagement:

  • Tax on syrup, soft drinks and powders. This tax proposal is by far the most ludicrous proposed this year. Just to purchase a two-liter bottle of soda in New York, the price would rise $.65. The tax will initially be applied to the producers of such drinks, and that tax is expected to be passed along to the buying public. The tax would apply to flavored water, sports drinks, energy drinks, flavored drinks, fruit or vegetable drinks that contain less than 70 percent natural fruit juice or vegetable juice. Bottled coffee or tea also falls under this description. The Division of Budget estimates this single tax will raise $1 billion after next year.
  • Increase cigarette tax by $1. This tax increased by the same amount in 2008. The tax is expected to generate $210 million next year alone.
  • Increase taxes to natural gas producers.
  • Increase taxes for biofuel production.
  • Other business taxes proposed would apply to corporations. This tax would generate $30 million in the next fiscal year and $12 million thereafter.
  • Taxation of trusts pertaining to personal income tax. Currently, resident trusts are tax exempt if all the trustees are out of state. This proposal would eliminate these exemptions and thus create $25 million in revenue by 2011-12.

While these are not all of the taxes proposed, this list represents some of the taxes that are likely to affect a large number of businesses and residents. I voted against last year’s budget, largely because of the taxes and fees. If negotiations do not open up to include more than three men in a room, I intend to do the same. Our state should not continue on this pattern of spending and then looking for ways to raise revenues. It’s precisely what kills the private sector and job creation. I will continue to sponsor legislation that reforms the budget and creates long-term solutions so that future generations will not have to shoulder the mismanagement of state dollars tomorrow.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at or by calling (315) 598-5185.