Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We're being taxed into oblivion
From the NY Post:
A typical New Yorker pays more than $85 each month in taxes tacked onto bills for living expenses like gas, electricity, phone, cable TV and transportation, The Post found.
Taxing big businesses and utilities -- which pass the cost on to millions of customers -- is a stealthy way for the feds, state, city and the increasingly desperate MTA to fill their coffers, experts say.
"They've turned these private businesses into collection agencies for the state," said Louis Manuta, senior attorney for the Public Utility Law Project, an Albany-based group that advocates for low-income consumers.
Taxes add as much as 37 percent to a telephone bill, Manuta calculates.
Taxes and surcharges make up 27 percent of every Con Edison electric bill, and 27.9 percent of cooking-gas tabs, the company said.
National Grid, which supplies gas to Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island, said taxes take 19 percent of residential bills in the city and 15 percent in Long Island.
The MTA bailout plan that hiked subway, bus and cab fares last May also imposed a new tax of 34 cents for every $100 of payroll on all employers in NYC and seven surrounding counties.
But giant utilities like Con Ed and some municipalities have added surcharges on bills to recoup the cost from its customers or residents. The MTA added about 1 percent in taxes to a Con Ed bill, a spokesman said.