Gov. David Paterson announced last week that proposals to raise or add to a menu of taxes that would have brought New York $1.3 billion were taken off the table following an agreement with legislative leaders.
The tax hikes were unpopular and had even been ridiculed. They included taxes on sugared drinks — the so-called soda tax — taxes on Internet downloads, the “iTunes tax,” haircuts, movies, concerts, cable service, live theater, bowling, golf and skiing.
Also off the table was a reinstatement of taxes on clothing under $110 and a proposal that would have limited sales tax exemptions on certain capital construction improvements.
“The proposed tax increases we are eliminating today were only put forward as a last resort when the deficit ballooned to an unprecedented level,” Gov. David Paterson said in a press release. “Now that enhanced federal funding is available, our highest priority must be to provide targeted relief to those who need it most during this economic crisis — average New Yorkers struggling to make ends meet.”
The state has until the end of the month to close an estimated $13 billion budget deficit for fiscal 2010 which begins on April 1.