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Paying Top Dollar and Getting Bupkis

: Betsy Mccaughey on

If you pay New York state taxes, you're paying top dollar and getting bupkis. Nothing in the budget deal announced in Albany on Tuesday changes that.

State tax money is supposed to provide services and improve the state's economic outlook. But a report released last week shows the state's economic prospects plunging to dead last among the 50 states.

As for services, New York ranks 47th, fourth from the bottom, in what residents get for the money, according to WalletHub.

New York spends the most per public school student, but students perform worse by every measure than students in neighboring states.

New York's roads rank 45th, according to MoneyGeek. The potholes and pavement roughness cost the average New York driver $715 a year in repairs, fuel and wear and tear. You need a Sherman tank to navigate the Bruckner Expressway.

Why are New York taxpayers getting cheated? Start with the state's budget process, which ended on Tuesday with a "handshake deal." The process is more like a backroom poker game than a legislature doing the public's business. Three people -- the governor, assembly speaker and Senate majority leader -- together with a few staff members, haggle behind closed doors. No press, no public.

 

Occasionally, a legislative committee chair is consulted, but that means only Democrats. Republicans, in the minority, are frozen out.

Lobbyists crowd the legislature's hallways, and advocacy groups hold up signs. But no one is representing taxpayers.

Now that the deal is brokered, lawmakers will be told to vote on it without time to even read it.

Lawmakers are scheduled to leave Albany by June 6 and not return until 2025, when the budget cycle begins again. Nice work -- $142,000 a year for 61 days in session and no follow-up on how tax dollars are spent.

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Copyright 2024 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

 

 

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