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New York Gov. David Paterson's plan to raise $18 million in revenue from fees on stores that sell cigarettes came under attack earlier this week from both Democrats and Republicans, the New York Daily News reported.
"Why doesn't he just say we're against small businesses?" Democratic Assemblyman Micah Kellner asked in the article. "It's an absurd proposal, particularly in hard times."
State Sen. Dale Volker, a Buffalo Republican, called it "wrong and dangerous to drive social policy with tax policy," adding the plan is a double whammy to owners of small stores.
Unveiled earlier this month, Paterson's plan to hike cigarette retailers' $100 annual registration fee to between $1,000 and $5,000, depending on annual gross sales, also got the attention of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) President James Calvin, who called the increases "obscene."
Some convenience store owners argued they would be forced to close if the fee passes, according to the report.
Store owners have made some "valid points," Calvin said, adding that the question is how the cash-strapped state would replace the $18 million the extra fees are projected to raise.