Spitzer’s promises

Our state’s new governor, Eliot Spitzer, has promised to cut taxes and relieve New York businesses of the onerous regulations that have helped render our economy moribund.

Sounds like a Republican. Which is probably why one Republican’s response to his initial proposals sound a tad peevish, lol.

The taxes Spitzer means are property taxes, not income taxes, though. Funny how property taxes are considered more suitable to demonize. Presumably because that tactic lends itself to an easily-evoked concrete image, i.e., the middle class family tossed out onto the street because their property taxes rendered their humble home unaffordable. Whereas the image associated with income tax cuts is: fat cat now has extra cash, replaces solid gold toilet seats in his yacht with solid platinum toilet seats.

Incidentally, according to the breakdown on my property tax bill, 81.2 percent of my taxes can be attributed to “state and federal mandates.” A big chunk. OTOH, the dollars I pay to foot that bill are a smaller percentage of my income than the dollars I fork over on state income tax.

Who knows. Something’s got to give, though, if this state is going to turn around. Some facts from the back end of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle article on Spitzer’s proposals:

While jobs grew nationally by 21 percent between 1990 and 2004, the growth in the region north and west of Rockland and Putnam counties was only 3 percent. During the same period, the region lost a third of its manufacturing jobs. Both figures are among the worst in the country.

The number of people between ages 25 and 34 also declined by about 30 percent in the last decade. Since 2000, Rochester’s population has dropped 3.8 percent; Buffalo dropped 4.2 percent and Syracuse 3.1 percent.

That’s just dismal.

[tags] New York State, taxes, Eliot Spitzer [/tags]

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4 Responses to Spitzer’s promises

  1. Dad says:

    The reason no one pays any attention to income tax is that, for most, it is just money deducted from their paycheck that they never see–a part of doing business, as it were. (After a first-time worker gets over the shock of how small that initial paycheck is, they tend to ignore the deductions.) In fact, most overpay their income taxes and then brag about how they “get money back” like they are screwing the government without seeming to realizing it is money they gave to the government, interest-free.

    On the other hand, property taxes are something that is dropped on you two or three times a year in a lump sum–it is a shock. Unless you have money in escrow as part of your mortgage, it is a large sum to come up with especially if you are retired, own your home free and clear, and are on a fixed income. Given that the property taxes finance local government/schools,(at a cost that keeps rising) the increases in these taxes are specially burdensome on the the “fixed income” tax payers. This makes property-based taxes an easy target for those pols interested in a cause to get elected. The problem arises because the public in general wants more services and better schools–these cost money which has to come from someplace. It’ll be interesting to see if Spitzer or anyone else can come up with that “someplace”.

  2. Kirsten says:

    Sure but that’s just another way of saying that the property tax issue is more politically useful — it’s easier to manipulate people with it.

    Spitzer can’t do anything about the local/school portion of the bill unless he allocates more state money to schools. But even so, that won’t guarantee that local governments will cut taxes. In theory, he has a lot more influence on the income tax piece. Of course, in a state where the population is graying, appealing to retirees has even more appeal ;-)

  3. Maybe in a coupla years when one of your New York senators becomes president for her third term she can help her new home state fix its fiscal problems. (Hah!)

    John

    P.S. I usually avoid any political posts or comments. All I ever do when I participate is alienate folks. Sorry!

  4. Dad says:

    Better our’s than your’s.

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