Taxation Without Representation in New York

Non-citizens poised to obtain the right to vote in the Big Apple.

tumblr_m8wqjcRcc91qi7ua6I choose to raise a family in one of the most outrageous cities in the world, New York.  Many professional and personal peers often try to convince me otherwise, claiming it is too difficult to raise a family in the concrete jungle.  Born, raised and educated here, I have always loved this city and am proud to bring up my family here. However, this week the city has indeed become more ridiculous.

The New York City government is conspiring to take away rights and responsibilities -- the foundation of our democracy -- from American citizens and pass them to non-citizens.  There is no liberty -- and for anyone earning a six-(or more) figure income living in New York City there is indeed “taxation without representation.

The newest act of insanity in Gotham has The New York City Council attempting to implement legislation that gives non-citizen immigrants who have been living in the city for at least six months the right to vote in municipal elections. Yes, indeed, even if they aren’t American citizens they’ll be able to vote on legislation in New York City, where we already have five Democrats for every Republican.   Think it’s a political ploy? Indeed it is – and will make this city even more liberal.

The proposed legislation already has 34 co-sponsors - enough to override a potential mayoral veto. Giving non-citizens the right to vote is simply absurd.  Even raising the issue is asinine.  One should be required to declare allegiance to America and go through the proper channels to attain citizenship prior to voting.  How about representation for those of us who are New Yorkers born and bred here? Letting non-citizens vote hurts every citizen’s vote.

Next week, my PR Agency 5WPR is moving into a new 38,000 square foot office for our more than 100 employees.  Naturally, my democratic rights and liberty aren’t being considered – we are required to use union workers for construction, moving, etc. – which has resulted in a price nearly double what a non-union company would charge.  The rights of a business aren’t relevant in New York City – but non-citizens are.  Of course, we pay and pay and pay.

Recently, NYC’s City Council passed a bill which mandates required sick leave for any businesses with 20 or more employees by April 2014. Businesses are also required to give multilingual written notices to all employees and post similar posters in a visible place in the office regarding mandatory sick leave. Many small businesses will need to fire people to meet these rules, which will require an increase in their spending.  The NYC Department of Health will be watching.  If they discover that an employer fired a worker for calling in sick too many times, the employee has the right to be compensated for at least $5,000 as well as be reinstated and promoted. In all of this, nowhere do we read about or hear about an employer’s rights.

Perhaps to counter the ranking as the worst state in the country to do business on the “Small Business Survival Index” by The Tax Foundation, New York State is presently running extensive TV ads touting how great it is to do business in New York.  The ads direct viewers to a NY government website –  The ads do not mention that the “BIG” they are referring to is indeed big taxes (as a Mercatus Center report stated, NY has “the highest taxes in the country: 14.0 percent of income, three and a half standard deviations above the national mean"), big legislation and big obstacles.  That is the "big" that any business owner can expect in NYC.

While preparing for our move, we have three employees out on jury duty, a mailman who sparingly delivers mail and increased health insurance costs thanks to Obamacare, which raised health insurance fees for businesses nationwide. Kathy Wylde, president of the business organization Partnership for New York City, recently noted, “I think the city council does not understand the cumulative cost, particularly to small business, of their many efforts to make their mark.” In New York, one can add the Cuomo and Obama administrations on top of that “cumulative cost.” Many of us pay taxes which exceed 50 percent.

Anyone with a business in New York City is being taxed yet doesn’t have representation. It will get even worse when non-citizens help determine our fate.  New York, New York.

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