Group at Odds with Proposed Taxes and Fees in State Budget

Mar 28, 2018

Reclaim New York aims to improve transparency in order to fight corruption.
Credit reclaimnewyork.org

The Executive Director of a non-partisan group is calling on taxpayers to contact their state representatives and take a stand if they’re unhappy with Albany’s spending. Reclaim New York Initiative’s Brandon Muir says the group is against proposed new taxes and fees in the state budget. For example, he says a proposed state sales tax for online purchases won’t level the playing field for brick and mortar stores competing with online retailers.

"The goal should be to make us more competitive, not simply gain more revenue through taxes. And this is a great opportunity for our legislators in Albany to do a service for the small business owner and say, we’re going to remove some of this sales tax to help you out instead of saying we’re going to even the score by hurting the other guy too.” 

There was a big push to get ride sharing services up and running in the state. Now, not even a year later, Muir feels that a proposed $1 tax on individual rides would only benefit the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, downstate.

“The fact is, 76 percent of their MTA budget goes to personnel. So they’re going to have someone in Buffalo or someone in Syracuse, who rides in an Uber, send a dollar or two dollars down state so they can fix the MTA problem.”

Another proposal the group is against is a $200,000,000 right of way fee for internet service providers that are planning to expand their reach.

“When you raise the cost on that competition or you add regulation to that competition, it gets harder and harder to make internet available geographically across a very big state and at a cost that people can actually afford.”

Muir feels the additional revenues raised would be directed into what he calls the “economic slush fund of Albany,” instead of letting internet companies compete.  To learn more about the organization, go to their website.