Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tax Fairness: Part Two

More reaction is coming in on the IBO tax report that we discussed yesterday. In the report it was pointed out that, it's not even close, New York City is far and away the highest taxed urban area in the country. In our comments we asked the Speaker to begin to address this issue, and to her credit, she is.

In today's NY Sun the paper reports that Speaker Quinn feels that "hardworking families and small businesses, burdened with over taxation and rising costs of living expenses, deserve relief." Quinn goes on to point out that her call for renters relief will "protect middle class families on the verge of being pushed out of our City and will allow small businesses to thrive."

Well, ok, but where exactly does her renters proposal give relief to small businesses; and to such an extent that they will be able to "thrive?" Perhaps the intrepid Jill Gardiner can follow up on this by asking the speaker for some specifics so that we can pass it on to the small business community.

It should also be pointed out that the reports on the city's tax situation go out of their way to emphasize the fact that the disparity between New York and other American cities is based in part on the Medicaid burden that NYC uniquely is forced to bear the burden of. This, as EJ McMahon points out in the Post this morning is simply not totally accurate. "Even with Medicaid and public assistance completely removed from the calculation, New York City's state and local tax burden would be 25 percent above the big-city average."

Which means that we need to find away to cut the size of government, and one way to do that is to provide services more efficiently. This is something that the Bloomberg administration has not paid a great deal of attention to, and the current crop of mayoral contenders, if the reports today are on the mark, appear willing to tackle this crucial issue.