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November 4, 2003

Assemblyman: Legislators may consider raising business taxes

A prominent Assembly Democrat from New York City has hinted that his house may consider raising business taxes next year after all.

"Legislators would be more likely to consider new corporate taxes rather than again dip into the pockets of 'average working families,' the New York Daily News reported Nov. 4, quoting Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan). Gottfried is chair of the Assembly Health Committee. His Web page describes him as head of the Manhattan Assembly Democratic Delegation.

Gottfried's remarks came just a few weeks after Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) asserted that New York State should not need tax increases next year.

"Having done a temporary increase last year, I don't think we should be going back to the well this year," Speaker Silver told an Albany radio station Oct. 13.

Later that day, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno issued a statement voicing the same reservations about tax increases. "Senator Bruno believes we do not need to consider increasing taxes," a spokesman said.

In the Nov. 4 story, Daily News reporter Joe Mahoney reported on different reactions to alarming increases in state Medicaid spending.

The story noted that the state's estimate of Medicaid spending has jumped $100 million in just the last three months to $42.9 billion. The story quoted "independent watchdogs" expressing alarm that the trend "will tempt lawmakers to extend income and sales tax hikes" they enacted earlier this year.

The increases in the state sales tax and personal income taxes on upper-income New Yorkers are scheduled to expire after three years.