Unshackle Upstate Targets Anti-Taxpayer Budget Provisions

Bipartisan pro-taxpayer coalition puts Legislature on notice by identifying key items in its Judgment Day Scorecard.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Niagara Partnership, along with its Unshackle Upstate partners, took a stand today against several budget provisions that, if enacted, will further increase state debt and burden New Yorkers with more taxes, fees and assessments.

“The proposed budget of $134 billion includes a spending increase of $787 million over last year, which is absolutely unconscionable in a time when we should be tightening our belts and assuming a stance of fiscal responsibility,” said Andrew J. Rudnick, Partnership President & CEO. “If enacted, this budget would place a higher financial burden on the already overtaxed New York taxpayers.”

Today’s announcement represents the first step in Unshackle Upstate’s Judgment Day campaign – a comprehensive effort launched last month to monitor the actions of the Legislature and report back to voters across New York. The coalition is tracking whether lawmakers are supporting the coalition’s drumbeat of reduced spending, taxes, fees, assessments and debt. If not, the coalition will call on New Yorkers to vote them out of office on Nov. 2, “Judgment Day”.

Unshackle Upstate opposes the following 2010-11 budgetary provisions:

  • 2010-11 Executive Budget (Spending) – the 2010-11 state budget proposal is $134 billion; that’s an increase of 12 percent in two years.
  • The 3-percent severance tax on natural gas from Marcellus or Utica Shale. (S6610 / A9710 – Part A).
  • Establishment of a circuit breaker tax credit and a state spending cap, versus a property tax cap, at 2.5 percent. (S6610 /A9710 – Part Q).
  • Forcing non-union home-based childcare providers to pay union dues. (S.6607/A.9707 – Part DD).
  • Proposed Increase in Local Utility Taxes (GRT) (S6606/A9706 – Part HH).
  • Excessive health care taxes, fees and assessments (S.6608/A.9708 – Part B, C, D).
  • Continuation of the Waste Tire Management Fee, which was scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2010. (S6609 / A9709 – Part DD).

In addition, Unshackle Upstate supports the repeal of the following onerous budget provisions enacted last year:

  • Repeal of $10 license plate fee increase.
  • Repeal Utility Surcharge (Section 18-A) of the Public Service Law, which raised utility fees from one-third of a percent to two percent, a six-fold increase, for most taxpayers.

The Unshackle coalition has been working with members of the Legislature to develop fiscally appropriate and common sense reforms, and has recently provided a number of recommendations to address the state’s excessive spending.

“Our partners in Unshackle Upstate are determined to end this trend of overspending and increased taxes and have proposed ways to actually reduce spending in the 2010-11 budget, which will align our state spending to a more sustainable level,” Rudnick said. “Our proposals include reducing the 2010-11 state budget spending by $12 billion in 2010-11; and a five-year plan to reduce budgetary spending by at least $2 billion per year for the next five years. Anything else is unacceptable.”

To view today’s media kit, or for more information on Unshackle Upstate or the Judgment Day campaign, please visit



Unshackle Upstate is a bi-partisan coalition represents more than 45,000 employers with more than one million workers in every region of upstate. The coalition’s website,, allows citizens to join the Unshackle Army and send messages to elected officials in Albany.

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the area’s regional chamber of commerce and privately-funded economic development organization. Partnership members employ more than a quarter of a million people in the Buffalo Niagara region. By mobilizing members and strategic partners around common goals, the Partnership grows private investment and jobs in Buffalo Niagara through advocacy, business development, and convening.

For Press Inquiries, Please Contact Grant Loomis, Vice President, Government Affairs at or 716-541-1736