Saying his comments earlier this month were read too deeply, Sen. Tom Libous said today he’s absolutely, no-doubt-about-it, 100 percent opposed to extending an income tax surcharge on New York’s top earners.
Libous, a Republican from Binghamton who serves as deputy majority leader, raised some eyebrows on Oct. 18 when he appeared to be the first GOP senator to leave the door ever-so-slightly open for supporting the “millionaires’ tax.” Libous had hinted that if hydrofracking continued to stall in New York and his flood-ravaged district needed help, he may have to “think outside of the box.”
But in a return appearance on Fred Dicker’s radio show on Talk 1300 AM in Albany today, Libous said he’s definitely against the tax.
“I know I got a few people excited,” Libous said. “I’ve been against it in the past and I’m still against it. I don’t think we should do it.”
“I don’t see the extension of a surcharge or the millionaires tax moving forward at all, and I will unequivocally tell you that I’m against it,” he told Dicker.
Libous again made a push for allowing high-volume hydrofracking in New York in 2012, saying the revenue it would generate would wipe out the need for any new taxes or fees.
He also addressed the news last week that a Department of Environmental Conservation advisory panel was slowing down its work, and its recommendations on a fee structure for natural-gas drillers likely won’t be released until after the state budget process begins.
Still, Libous—an ardent hydrofracking supporter who sits on the DEC panel—said the news isn’t that concerning to him … yet.
“Look—I want to permit this coming year. I think we can,” Libous said. “The fact that we’ve slowed down a little bit, I don’t think it’s a big deal for a couple of months. But if it goes past March, April, then there’s a definite slowdown here and something that we’ll have to throw the alarms up for.”