Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pork - The Other Bleeding White Meat

For the past five years my wife and I have been discussing a move to another state. Her dad is in poor health and we really can't go anywhere for the time being. But a front page headline in today's Post Standard has most likely provided enough impetus for us to clear out of Dodge:

Local Property Taxes in N.Y. Up, Up, Up: 42% in 5 Years

"Per capita property tax burdens in New York are 49 percent higher than the national average and property taxes measured as a share of personal income are 28 percent higher."

The State Comptroller (Alan Hevesi) just released this report. The situation is actually worse then what the headlines indicate.

"Local property tax levies grew by 60 percent from 1995 to 2005, more than twice the rate of inflation during that period (28 percent). Most of this growth occurred in the last 5 years – when property tax levies increased by 42 percent, compared to inflation of 13 percent."

During the same period of time, New York lost 2 congressional seats. Can any legislator in Albany dummy up an answer for this??! People are leaving because of the taxes!! Read my lips:


"New York taxpayers have the highest combined State and local tax burden in the nation, with a total tax bill of $131 for every $1,000 of personal income in 2002, nearly 26 percent higher than the national average."

What is wrong with you people??! The State is bleeding out and you're busy loosening the tourniquet!

"New York’s high tax burden is entirely driven by high local taxes – State taxes are about average, at $64 per $1,000 of personal income, versus $62 for the nation as a whole. Local taxes are the highest in the country, at $67 per $1,000 of personal income, 60 percent higher than the national average of $42. Maine is the next highest state at $55 – nearly 20 percent lower than New York."

If you only rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic at least the ship wouldn't go down any faster. But our State legislators are blowing holes in the hull and scuttling the lifeboats! They just overrode the governor's veto and restored $200 million in pork projects! The only stipulation is that the state must make public where all the money is spent. That's like having the blindfolds ripped off just when the firing squad enters the courtyard.

"This is a victory on a long road to reform" State Senator David Valesky, D-Oneida, said after the session Wednesday.

That's what Saddam Hussein said after winning his first rigged election you simpering butt nugget. All in all "State lawmakers completed overrides of nearly $3 billion Gov. Pataki vetoed from the new state budget Wednesday." Pataki states that about two-thirds of this amount was added illegally to the state budget. That means at least an additional $1 billion will be added to an already bloated state budget of $112.8 billion.

The Republicans and the Democrats are in this together. The Republicans in the State Senate lacked the necessary votes to override the veto. The Democrats wanted their pound of flesh before helping them so they insisted on the sunshine provision. They see this as a way to loosen the Republicans' grip on the Senate and will use it in elections.

It is a weak provision because it only kicks in the mandated pork exposure thirty days after the grant is awarded. Typically, these grants are not made public until the legislator releases the information. Thus, the grant award may not be made until months after the budget is passed.

Anyone LC out there with recommendations?

No comments: