Hawley, Norris both decry $14 billion in tax increases proposed in Assembly budget

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 March 2021 at 8:49 pm

State Assembly members Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, and Mike Norris, R-Lockport, both voted against the State Assembly budget proposal.

The two Assemblymen both represent parts of Orleans County. Hawley said the Assembly budget proposal misses an opportunity to overhaul the state’s business climate, especially with a big influx of federal aid. Norris said the Assembly budget will chase more residents and businesses out of the state.

Assemblyman Hawley issued this statement:

“Following an incredibly generous allocation of federal aid to the tune of approximately $100 billion that would, according to a member of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s staff, wipe out our state deficit for the year entirely, we have been presented a tremendous opportunity to overhaul our state’s business climate and bring our economy roaring back through this recovery like never before.

“We have been given a clean slate with which we could finally make New York a competitive place to do business and create economic opportunity but, unfortunately, our colleagues in the Majority seem to be more interested in burdening our state with billions in new taxes in their budget proposal, even as we have seen a mass exodus of New Yorkers in recent years.

“This proposal by the Majority is a clear sign of a shifting paradigm in Albany, as it goes far above what even the governor proposed this year under the assumption our state would receive only minimal aid, as opposed to the massive package headed our way. Clearly the governor has lost any effective leverage in the budget process and is being walked over by radical progressives, and this proposal shows exactly why he needs to step down. We need a leader in this budget process who can stand up to ideologues and do what’s best for everyday working people, and Gov. Cuomo is in no position to be that person.”

Assemblyman Norris issued this statement:

“Today I voted against the $208.3 billion budget that imposes an additional $14.6 billion in new taxes on New Yorkers.

“While I am encouraged that so many of our communities’ priorities that I have been advocating for during this year’s budget process have been included in the Assembly’s one-house budget, this overall spending plan breaks the state’s spending record at over $208 billion and would impose an additional more than $14 billion in new taxes — a measure that is totally unnecessary given the state’s increased revenues and additional $12.6 billion in federal stimulus. If these tax hikes are enacted, our state’s out-migration problem will only worsen and our economy, which is in critical condition already, will further suffer.

“I urge leaders to remove these tax hikes and to produce a final budget agreement that is more fiscally prudent and responsible in order to protect our economy, create jobs and support New Yorkers’ path to recovery. That path should support investments in broadband, small business support, libraries and education, infrastructure, and resources for veterans and people with developmental disabilities who need our help now more than ever.

“We can make that happen with this one-shot investment from Washington, and be fiscally responsible at the same time without forcing more New Yorkers out-of-state by permanently driving up taxes.”