It's Your Money: No new taxes, but are you still paying?

Posted at: 01/23/2013 4:58 PM
Updated at: 01/23/2013 5:19 PM
By: Ray Levato

The governor says no new taxes in his new budget proposal, but that doesn't mean you won't be paying more for other things.

Hearing the governor's pledge, News10NBC wanted to know how his proposed new state budget will affect you and we found one area that you'll want to know about. There may not be any new fees, but there are some old fees that you'll have to keep paying the state.

Technically, the governor is right. You won't be on the hook for any new taxes or fees, but lurking behind the words are more than two dozen fees that will raise tens of millions of dollars and they come out of your pocket.

They say the devil is in the details. Just the governor's financial summary of his executive budget is several hundred pages. News10NBC picked a handful of measures that will or could directly affect you under the title of revenue actions and tax reform.

The first is the surcharge on your electric and gas bills called a utility assessment.  You've been paying that since 2009. It could range from a dollar or two to more than four dollars on your monthly RG&E bill. The governor's budget summary says that raises more than $500 million per year. Assemblyman Brian Kolb wants that to expire as scheduled later this year.

Assemblyman Brian Kolb, (R) Assembly Minority Leader, said, “ This is an additional tax that really hurts families and businesses across the state. And I think we should discontinue this tax, even though it's not a new tax it was several years ago when they created it and I think it's time for it to go.”

Gov. Cuomo proposes to suspended the driver's license of people with big, overdue tax bills. That would raise $25 million.

And he would allow the state to garnish wages of delinquent taxpayers without filing a warrant first. That would raise $10 million.

If you get a ticket for a moving violation and plead it down to something like a parking offense, the state will still hit you with the $80 surcharge that would have come with the speeding ticket. They say that would raise $16 million. That's what Angel Fernandez was trying to do Wednesday in Rochester.

Angel Fernandez said, “Oh wow. That can be crucial for some people's pockets, so.”

Marianne Gage said, “I would hate to be on the receiving end of it. They've violated the law, and they probably need to pay.”

Andrew Hoffman said, “It's a decent rule. It should be more enforced by the government, but it's doable.

News10NBC's Ray Levato said, “If you got caught speeding and the D.A. and the judge allowed you to plead this down to a parking violation,and they charged you $80, that would be OK?”
Hoffman said, “Now that you mention it, no. I had to think about it for a minute, but no.”

News10NBC called the governor's office to ask some questions about this. The first call Tuesday after his budget presentation, and then three more times Wednesday. We're still waiting for a response.