I read something interesting in today's Newsday (2/16/09) page A3 (article at bottom of page) where George Gresham got a crowd to chant, "tax the rich" as Gov. Paterson looked on. Apparently "rich" is defined as those making over $250,000 a year.
I am close to this level of income, making $230k a year, and I feel far from "rich." I worked my butt off for 4 years in college, 4 years in med school, 3 years in residency, and now 9 years as an attending MD to get to this level. I'm in the second highest tax bracket and pay well over $80000 in taxes counting federal, state and property taxes. My deductions are limited because of the Alternative Minimum Tax, which unfairly taxes middle and upper-middle class people, when it was designed to prevent the ultra-rich from avoiding taxes with excessive deductions and has not been adjusted for inflation since its creation in the '60s. How dare anyone say I'm not paying my fair share! I have 2 car payments (30K cars, no BMWs or Mercedes here!), a school loan, and a mortgage. I don't feel rich at the end of the month when these bills, along with the ridiculous LIPA and Keyspan bills are paid. I think he needs to redefine what he calls "rich."
Read my lips: no new lies. Not in Albany, not in DC.
Senator McCain's recent "tax and spend" attack ad references plans by Senator Obama to levy "painful tax increases on working American families." But the McCain campaign is being disingenuous.
According to the non-partisan FactCheck.org, the Obama tax plan would lower taxes for 81.3 percent of all households and for 95.5 percent of households with children. For families bringing home between $37,595 and $66,354, the Obama plan would cut on average $1,118 from their federal tax burden.
Back in 1985, the Erie County Legislature, with Albany's permission and approval, passed an extra 1% sales tax - a “temporary” sales tax that has come up for - and passed - renewal every year since.
Originally passed to plug a County budget hole, the City of Buffalo didn't receive a share of that particular 1%. (To call it a “penny” is really facile propaganda).
In that 21 years, when the County was flush with cash, the call went out to share part of that particular sales tax with the municipalities in general, and Buffalo in particular.
In February, the Erie County Legislature voted 11-4 to allocate and share $12.5 million generated by that 1% "temporary" sales tax with the municipalities. This came about because Assembly Majority Leader Paul Tokasz (D-Cheektowaga) held this year’s renewal of that 1% hostage.