Assembly members say state lawmakers must “lead by example” on paying their tax obligations before making laws that affect taxes on 19.5 million New Yorkers
“Hey Governor, politicians should pay their taxes or lose their seats because what’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”
That’s the message Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (R,C,I-Glenville) and Assemblyman Dean Murray (R,C,I-East Patchogue) are sending the Governor today by announcing new legislation to require all state elected officials to lead by example and pay their taxes before they are allowed to take office and pass tax laws impacting the 19.5 million New Yorkers they represent.
The Governor’s proposed 2015-16 New York State Budget requires all new state employees to pay their taxes before they are hired and allowed to begin employment with a state agency. The Governor’s measure also enables local governments to prohibit tax scofflaws from being hired on the municipal level.
Tedisco and Murray’s legislation, which is being drafted, would bring fairness to the Governor’s proposal for state workers by requiring the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller and all 213 state legislators to be in good standing with their state and local taxes before they can take office.
“If you want to run for office and serve the public then you should obey the law and pay your taxes. No tax deadbeats allowed,” said Tedisco.
“Everyone has to pay their taxes but we need to hold our elected officials to the same standard we hold the people we seek to represent. Our state elected officials have a duty to lead by example and pay their taxes before they take office and make laws that affect the taxes of the millions of New Yorkers they represent. Who is more of a state worker than lawmakers who are hired by the taxpayers who own this government and are the bosses in this representative democracy?” said Tedisco.
“This isn't even asking elected officials to go above and beyond, it's asking them to do what millions of New Yorkers do on a regular basis...and that is, pay your taxes. It was unconscionable that the Assemblyman that I replaced, Ed Hennessey, was cashing a tax payer funded paycheck every two weeks, while being years behind and owing tens of thousands of dollars in property taxes. In essence, the taxpayers were being hit twice by having to pay his salary, while also making up for the taxes that he wasn't paying to fund schools, police and emergency services, garbage collection, road repairs and more. This is an ethics reform bill that needs to be adopted sooner rather than later,” said Murray.