Bigger Nuisance
March 11th, 2009

Education advocates reacted to Gov. David Paterson’s announcement that he would use $1.3 billion of federal stimulus money t0 do away with a proposed number of “nuisance taxes” by asking Paterson and the legislature to turn their attention to restoring proposed cuts to education.

How do they think Paterson should go about doing that?

By combining stimulus funds with the proceeds of a tax on the wealthy.

Legislation for such a tax is pending in both houses of the legislature but Gov. David Paterson and Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith still seem opposed to it. However, Paterson has recently stated that if the state’s fiscal situation gets any worse the tax might be unavoidable.

The remaining federal stimulus dollars combined with Fair Share Tax Reform can provide the resources needed to protect our school children and our communities from devastating cuts,” said Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education in a release. “One hurdle to getting a fair and on-time state budget was eliminated today, now the state can shift its focus from discussing hair cut taxes and I-Pod taxes to deciding on how we can best protect the education of our school children.

Geri Palast, executive director of the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, echoed Easton. “The Governor and the legislative leaders have taken the first step in resolving the budget by taking nuisance taxes off the table,” she said in a statement. “Now New York State must follow the example set by President Obama and the Congress in prioritizing education and maintaining investment in schools and students. To do so, our leaders must enact Fair Share Tax Reform that asks high income New Yorkers to contribute their fair share. ”

Legislators appear to be set on making large cuts to health care and education in this year’s budget. Advocates of Fair Share tax reform are said to be concerned that Senate Democrats are reaching the conclusion of their budget proposal process and a tax on the wealthy is indeed not part of it.

By on March 11, 2009, 3:45 pm
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