Bronx residents criticize new fees, tax rates

FORDHAM - Bronx residents criticized Gov. David Paterson?s $132 billion budget Monday, citing new fees and taxes as their main complaints.

Lawmakers are set to approve the budget before the start of the new fiscal year Wednesday. Paterson?s budget attempts to close the state?s record $17 billion budget gap with new fees and taxes totaling about $3 billion, as well as an elimination of the STAR rebate checks. Some of the fees include five cent deposits on water bottles, in addition to carbonated beverages, as well as vehicle registration fees, automobile insurance surcharges and beer and wine taxes.

Perhaps the most controversial element of the budget is higher taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers. Those who earn more than $250,000 will pay a 7.85 percent income tax rate and earners who make more than $500,000 will pay almost 9 percent of their income.

Some Bronx residents believe the wealthiest New Yorkers can afford to pay more in taxes, while others believe the bulk of the budget burden should not be placed on one group of people.

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