You can call it a tax, an assessment, a tariff or a duty, but no matter what word you use the cold hard fact is that the new health care bill will hit tri-state taxpayers in their pocket books. We'll pay more than any other part of the county -- over 20 percent of the entire tax burden is our burden.
The additional 32 million Americans who will be covered under the new health care bill -- they should say thank you to us, the tri-state area taxpayers who are footing a disproportionate share of the bill.
"In the tri-state area we constitute 10 percent of the country's population we're going to be paying 20 percent of this new bill in taxes. That's money going out of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and going down to Washington," said Steven Malanga of the Manhattan Institute.
The combination of a new 3.8 percent tax on income from interest, dividends and investments, and a payroll tax hike of nearly 1 percent for singles making above $200,000 and married couples making above $250,000 add up to $6.7 billion in new taxes for people living here.
New Yorkers will fork over $4.1 billion, New Jersey residents $1.6 billion and Connecticut residents $1.1 billion, according to the Manhattan Institute.
"As Ross Perot famously said the sucking sound you hear in this case is going to be the health care legislation sucking a few billion dollars more a year to Washington," Malanga said.
Supporters defend it, saying that the benefit of insuring the uninsured outweighs the extra taxes we'll pay.
"Right now we wind up paying a disproportionately large number of uninsured people in our city and so as we start to integrate more people into the insurance polls that means we're going to start saving money," said Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-Brooklyn/Queens.
Opponents say that paying more taxes to Washington takes money out the local economies, which are already on life support.
"That's money that's not going to be spent here in New York. It's money that's not going to be used for producing jobs. It could also cause smaller businesses to move south. This is a lose-lose proposition for the New York tri-state area," said Rep. Peter King, R-Long Island.
How do local taxpayers feel?
"Am I going to like paying more money? No," Chelsea's Seth Lipton said.
"I think it's a good bill, important for the whole country. If taxes can be adjusted in certain ways that may be a separate problem, but I'm not bothered by that for this bill," added Matthew Gold of Scarsdale.
"I don't think it's fair," said Jeff Keith of Mendham, N.J. "It's just another attempt to push more of the costs on people that are wealthier, and people in higher cost of living areas are going to bear a greater burden."
Brace yourselves because the new taxes dedicated to health care are only the beginning. There's another new tax on those making $250,000 as part of the regular federal budget.
And the capital gains tax is going up another 5 percent.