Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Suozzi: Taxpayers Should 'Revolt' Over Property Taxes


Taxpayers should "revolt" if the state increases income taxes on upper-income earners without doing something to stabilize property taxes for all state residents, according to Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi.

"This country was founded on the rallying cry of 'No taxation without representation;' the rallying cry today should be 'No income tax [increase] without property tax relief,'" Suozzi said in an interview yesterday.

Suozzi has scheduled a news conference today to point out that while Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties combined have 18 percent of state's population, they account for 40 percent of the taxpayers in the state with incomes of more than $250,000 - the target of most discussions about taxing high earners.

New York State provides more revenue to Washington than it gets back, downstate provides more revenue to Albany than it gets back, and it would be unfair to the downstate counties with high property taxes to siphon more tax revenue without property tax reform, he said.

"If they do an income tax increase, and they don't to a property tax cap and property tax relief, we should revolt," Suozzi said, his voice rising. "We should rally behind an effort to make that change, and now is the time to do it."

Suozzi said he was convinced that both the state and federal governments would eventually have to increase taxes on higher incomes, but admitted there has been little public support for such a move in Albany beyond the Assembly.

Gov. David A. Paterson said earlier this week that he opposed the higher income tax - dubbed the "fair share tax" by labor unions and other supporters.

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