Report: Barbara Lifton town hall in Newfield, 2-22-11

First in a series:

Governor Cuomo said, “You can never solve a problem if you refuse to acknowledge it”.  After listening to Assemblywoman Lifton, at her town meeting, she obviously is not heeding his words.


Here are some recent news and quotes on taxes, from Democrats!

In a recent visit to the Ithaca Brewing Company, Senator Schumer said, “By cutting taxes for these small businesses, we can help grow the economy and put more New Yorkers back to work in stable, good-paying jobs.”

Senator Gillibrand has a proposal to expand, simplify and make permanent a research and development TAX CREDIT.  (A tax cut by another name.)

Governor Cuomo has said, “New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation.”  

Assemblywoman Lifton isn’t listening to her fellow Democrats.  She believes that high taxes help drive the economy, not hinder it.  She said that we need to keep on supporting the private sector by keeping the public sector intact.  Huh? Intact?  No changes?  Who in the private sector believes an intact public sector is supportive? This goes beyond failing to acknowledge a problem and joins Alice in Wonderland.

Assemblywoman Lifton also believes that the wealthy do not make decisions based on taxes.  She was asked about the hedge fund manager issue last summer; (the legislature wanted to tax hedge fund managers and then backed off when there was a danger of many hedge funds moving operations to Connecticut).  She believes that the legislature “blinked” and that the hedge funds would not have moved. (In essence, the rest of the liberal-dominated Assembly was wrong.) She then discusses the federal capital gains tax as if it was an issue with the hedge funds managers, while the real issue was double taxation by both states of those hedge fund managers living in Connecticut.

Assemblywoman Lifton decries the tax breaks for the wealthy, using a publication from the Center for Working Families. Check out their web site,; it’s not exactly a paragon of unbiased thinking.  

Ms. Lifton quotes their calculations of how much these tax breaks are costing.  Is it logical to believe that, if the highest taxed state increased its current rate by 50%, at least some and maybe most of the wealthy would not migrate out? (Think Tom Golisano, etc.)

State taxes are not an issue to Ms. Lifton.  She believes the problem is only local property taxes and she mentions how taxpayers react more strongly to their property tax bills than to their state tax bills.  Let’s compare apples to apples; how would taxpayers react if they did not have state taxes deducted from every paycheck and they had to come up with their entire state tax bill at one time – as they do with property taxes.  

She also ignores the total tax burden of fees, surcharges, permits and corporate taxes (which are actually paid by the consumer).

The current tax law on the wealthy will expire on December 31st and taxes on the wealthy will increase. Assemblywoman Lifton does not believe this is a tax increase.


Good points, but Tom Reynolds leaves out one of the more outrageous of Lifton's attitudes. Your wealth, if you have any, such as your home, on death, belongs to the government, not your heirs or your children. She actually believes that on death all wealth should go to the government! And, she wants to stop your STAR tax exemption. Taxes only for the rich? Nonsense, today for Lifton it is the rich, tomorrow she'll come for you.

<p> Since I also was at the Newfield meeting, I can say that while she may well believe what you say about death, wealth, and the state, she didn&#39;t say anything on that particular topic at the meeting. This is largely a series of reports on what she <em>did</em> say (which was bad enough). &nbsp;And Tom&#39;s not done yet &nbsp;<img alt="smiley" height="20" src="" title="smiley" width="20" />&nbsp;There are about 6 more posts in the series, so stay tuned.</p>