Last week, state Sen. Marty Golden railed against the state’s decision to bring back the 4.375-percent tax on clothes and shoes — which began Friday — even though he was a no-show when the Senate voted on the measure on Aug. 3.
“I couldn’t be there, but I would have voted against [the tax] if I was there,” Golden (R-Bay Ridge) told us when asked him about his peculiar voting record on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, just after he accused the state of screwing the taxpayer.
When pressed, Golden wouldn’t tell us why he wasn’t around for the vote that would affect virtually every non-nudist in the borough.
“I had an issue and I couldn’t be there,” he said sternly, refusing to say any more.
Golden was the only person excused from the Senate vote that day. The push to tax clothes and shoes under $110 carried, 32-28.
Every other Brooklyn state senator, including John Sampson (D-Canarsie), Eric Adams (D-Fort Greene) and Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights) voted for the tax, which was shoehorned into a mammoth budget package that also called for increased taxes on personal income, hotel room rental and real estate investments.
The Assembly passed the bill on the same day with an 88 to 57 vote.
Standing in front of Lola’s Boutique between 85th and 86th streets, Golden said that the clothing tax would drive shoppers out of the borough.
“Albany’s pushing people to shop in New Jersey when we want them to shop right here in Brooklyn,” he said. “And when they go to Jersey to buy their clothes, what else are they going to buy? They’re going to buy their beer and soda there. They’re going to spend the whole day there when they should be here. We got to stand up to [Assembly Speaker] Shelly Silver and get rid of these taxes and fees.”
Golden’s tirade was billed as a “speak out” against the clothing tax, but was also a rally for GOP Assembly hopeful Nicole Malliotakis, who is running against incumbent Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer (D-Bay Ridge). Hyer-Spencer, like all of her Brooklyn coleagues in the Assembly, voted for the clothing tax.
“We want to change things in Albany and we’re going to do it one legislator at a time,” Golden said, endorsing Malliotakis’s candidacy.