New York State's newest tax on it's overburdened residents took effect on Sunday, the new water tax. A nickel deposit is now being collected on all water bottles under 1-gallon in size. The state argues they are looking out for the environment, but anyone smarter than a politician knows the truth.
When New York's budget hit the skids last year any thing that would generate revenue was on the table. One of the things the state masterminds figured out was that the bottle deposit law brings money into the state. Any unclaimed deposits are turned over by retailers to the state and that money is fed into the general fund. When new sources of revenue were needed it was easy to assume adding a deposit to water bottles would also add revenue to the state. So after a lot of legal maneuvering, the new tax started on Sunday.
As usual the state didn't take into account the true cost of this new law. The new "deposit" is expected to cost consumers $2.00 per 24-pack of water. If your doing the math at home, you'll realize the deposit amount is only $1.20. The rest of the cost was passed on by manufacturers to implement the new deposit. So, even if the average consumer returns their water bottles, they will still be out 80-cents on every pack of water they buy.
The state is falling back on the "saving the environment argument," but we know that isn't the case. If the state really wanted to save the environment, they would put unclaimed deposits into parks and reuse projects only. They'd also allow consumers to return containers to any retail outlet. Right now only containers sold at a retail establishment have to be accepted for return. So, if you shop at two or three stores you have to return to two or three stores; that doesn't exactly encourage container return.
Let's be honest here, the State government continues to refuse to collect taxes on the sale of cigarettes to non-Indians on the reservations. They continue to remain scared of the threat of violence by the Indian nations. I guess the average taxpayer needs to threaten to burn water bottles in the middle of the thruway or possibly lob full bottles at state police cars to be heard. A small minority of the people in this state continue to get rich, while avoiding paying sales tax, so the rest of the state will suffer with yet another deposit tax.
I'm aware Governor Patterson is legally blind, so I shouldn't expect him to see the results of his poor policies. But, this newest tax is just another crack in the straw that is taxpayer's backs. We can't continue to pile up fees and taxes on the residents of this state, we're already suffering enough. At least Patterson won't be able to see the lack of votes he gets in November.