As proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, $1 billion in new taxes and fees are included in his spending plan, taxing everything from health insurance profits to products sold on the Internet.
"I am comfortable that where we raised revenues, it was fair, it was right," Cuomo said. "It's not going to hurt the long-term economy of the state."
The taxes include assessments on prescription opioids, a vehicle inspection fee on for-hire cars, a tax on e-cigarettes and deferring tax credit claims for businesses. The revenue is needed to close a $4 billion deficit.
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb said he was "taken aback, shocked, appalled. Certainly we live in one of the highest taxed states in the nation, and to promote and propose more revenue raisers as he put it is only going to deteriorate our economy even more."
The taxes are being proposed as the $168 billion budget proposal avoids cutting the two most expensive and politically sensitive areas of state spending: education and health care. Business leaders had hoped Cuomo would take a different route.
"No, we don't support any additional tax increases," said Business Council President Heather Briccetti. "I think you have to really look at the two large categories of spending and see where we are not getting a good bang for our buck."
Even with a tightly balanced budget, Cuomo wants to increase education spending by $769 million. Supporters had hoped for an even bigger increase, but say other issues can still be taken up.
"I think this is a perfect opportunity for us this year to talk about some of the mandate relief that school districts have been asking for many, many years," said Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D - Utica). "It's also a chance for us to look at the formula. We have this debate every single year."
And there is support for some of these tax actions, including a proposal to enter a multi-state compact that would close the so-called carried interest loophole advocates say has been taken advantage of by hedge funds.