Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NY ignores sugary-drink tax proposal

It seems it was only a matter of time. The latest push to legalize the sale of wine in supermarkets in New York State apparently has died and been tossed on the refuse heap of its predecessors.

The State Senate's 2010-11 budget resolution just released does not contain Gov. David Paterson’s proposal to include wine sales in supermarkets and some other retail outlets. Legislative analysts predict the same will be true of an Assembly version when it is adopted later this week.

Also missing from the Senate version of the budget is a tax on sugary beverages Paterson had wanted.

The debate over Paterson's proposal has been long and heated, bringing into conflict all sorts of temporary coalitions as well as expert lobbyists pushing one side of the agenda or the other.

The governor's office originally projected extra revenue for the state of $147 million from the expansion of where wine could be sold. A secondary move, proposing higher franchise fees than he had at first wanted for such sales permission, pushed that estimate to $300 million.

No matter your point of view, one thing is for sure: That $300 million Paterson had counted as potential income from such changes will have to be made up to help support the gigantic state budget legislators seem incapable of ever paring down.

And, just where do you think that revenue is going to come from?

Wine/sugary beverage buyer or not, you're going to have to dig deeper than ever to help support the state government, including all the special perks and discretionary money the Senate and Assembly drones spread around their districts to ensure votes for their reelection whether you like the use of your money or not.

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