Mike Long, the state Conservative Party chairman, is trying to staunch the increasing momentum toward hiking taxes on the rich that is building in New York state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, once a staunch opponent of tax increases, has softened his stance in the wake of a widening budget gap. And some members of the Senate GOP, the last possible stopgap against a tax hike, appear to be wavering, as summarized in this Joseph Spector piece (n.b.: our local electeds are not among those, but not in a forthright sort of way. Sen. Joe Griffo, R-Rome, was not available for comment when I asked. Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, said she hadn't made up her mind on whether she supports tax increases).
Mr. Long is going directly to the man in charge of those wavering GOPers: Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican of Long Island.
"To consider any increase is a disservice to the people who remain in our state," Mr. Long writes.
Here is the letter in full:
Dear Majority Leader Skelos:
New York does not have an income problem, albeit revenues are not what everyone anticipated.
New York has a spending problem that will not be resolved if any attempt to increase taxes is done when you return to Albany this week or in the upcoming Legislative Session.
New York has lost population due to the high taxes imposed by runaway spending on programs that do not accomplish what was promised or contribute to the economic well being of the state. To consider any increase is a disservice to the people who remain in our state. Instead of considering taking more from our citizens, we must expand the base with new job creation. Job creation does not come to a state that continues to punish those who work hard to succeed.
The New York Post Editorial Page has reminded all New Yorkers daily what Governor Cuomo said on October 17, 2011: “You are kidding yourself if you think you can be one of the highest-taxed states in the nation, have a reputation for being anti-business — and have a rosy economic future.”
Certainly, tough decisions must be made when we are faced with hard times. The decisions to be made must consider the circumstances and the effects; raising taxes sends all the wrong signals to those who must live with the government’s decision to take more of their hard-earned paycheck to pay for the special interest of select clientele.
Very truly yours,
Michael R. Long