Common Sense: Fighting fees and taxes

The State Senate held a public hearing last week on the ridiculous bag fee passed by the City Council and signed by the mayor. State Senators Marty Golden (whom I serve as chief of staff) and Simcha Felder are sponsors of legislation that would prohibit a municipality from adopting such a fee. The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblymember Michael Cusick of Staten Island and co-sponsored by Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis as well as other local assemblymembers.

Many of those who testified against the fee and in support of the Felder/Golden legislation noted the disproportionate effect on the poor and middle class as well as studies that indicated that it is can lead to unsanitary conditions and that plastic bags account for a very small portion of our landfills.

To add insult to injury, the city is indicating that the bag fee is taxable, so for every three bags, you will be paying another cent plus in sales tax to the business that collects the fee. That takes this from ridiculous to absurd.

I suspect the Felder/Golden legislation will pass the State Senate. The real question is the Assembly. Assemblymember Malliotakis told a group of Brooklyn Conservative Party leaders that the strategy that she and Cusick were employing was to get as many sponsors in the Assembly from city members as possible with the hope that, if a majority of those 62 members support the bill, enough members from unaffected parts of the state will be willing to go along. It takes 76 votes to pass a bill in the Assembly.

Speaking of the Brooklyn Conservative Party, its Executive Committee recently endorsed for re-election State Senators Golden and Felder and Assemblymembers Malliotakis and Dov Hikind. The party had previously endorsed Congressmember Dan Donovan. All five had carried the Conservative Party endorsement in past elections.

These are the first endorsements in what will be many for State Senator and Assembly seats in Brooklyn. The party had also previously endorsed a full slate of Congressional candidates from around the borough.

The Brooklyn South Conservative Club held a very successful Tax Freedom Day Party on May 12, one day after the actual day in New York State. The 50 or so attendees heard from financial affairs professional John Burnett who has run for city comptroller. This was followed by the cutting of a birthday cake emblazoned with a large No Taxes on its iced top.

Club President Liam McCabe noted that New York’s Tax Freedom Day is the third latest in the nation and more than two weeks after the federal Tax Freedom Day which is April 24.

As defined, Tax Freedom Day is the day that you are working for yourself as opposed to working to pay your combined tax burden of federal, state and local taxes.

Anyone interested in becoming involved with this very active Conservative Party club should contact Liam at 917 932-4869.

As a reminder, the Brooklyn Conservative Party joined by the St. Anselm’s Boy Scout troop will be holding the annual POW/MIA ceremony at the flagpole located at Lookout Point at 81st Street and Shore Road at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day. The Brooklyn Conservatives have been presenting a POW/MIA flag to the Parks Department at this location annually for almost 30 years.

After the ceremony, the party marches in the Memorial Day Parade which begins at 11 a.m. and goes along Third Avenue from 78th Street to Cannonball Park where there is a ceremony. These two events are a great way to start your holiday.

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