New York’s Proposed $10 Fee to Pay Your Taxes

February 25, 2009

Governor David Paterson’s proposed New York state budget includes a new $10 fee for filing taxes on paper:

State budget officials believe the paper filing fee could generate $6.8 million during the next fiscal year.[…]

In 2008, 41 percent of state income tax filings were received in paper form — and could therefore be subject to the new fee. The plan would, however, waive the fee for people earning less than $15,000 annually, or $30,000 for couples.

State officials toss around a factoid of “93 percent” of all filings being electronic. But that includes people who fill out the forms, print them, and mail them in. The fee would apply to those filings.

We recently filed a brief with a California court arguing that a “fee” imposed on those who pay taxes, with the money used to fund tax collection activities, is actually a tax. It’s hard to say whether that would be the case in New York.

I was however interested to learn that the mailed returns in New York are processed not by state workers, but by workers at Bank of America.

Check out our fiscal fact on Paterson’s budget proposals, and past blog posts on New York.

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