Assemblyman Bob Oaks recently said that, amid ongoing scandals and investigations that have dominated the headlines surrounding the state Capitol in 2015, attention should be focused on the fact that New York state continues to rank among the highest taxed states in the nation, as evidenced by New Yorkers having the third latest Tax Freedom Day in the nation.

“This year it took residents of New York until May 11 before they have earned enough to pay the average state and local tax bill,” Oaks said. “Too much of New Yorkers’ paychecks are being spent on taxes. This is a top concern and needs to be a priority in Albany.”

Oaks, ranking member of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, advocates for tax reform and reductions every year during the state budget process.

Enacting tax reform has always been a priority for Oaks. Some success was achieved through the budget, which included a new income tax rate aimed at helping the state’s middle class. Oaks said that Albany continues to push tax relief to the side.

“We waste a lot of time in the assembly chamber voting on the same inconsequential bills year after year instead of doing something about the real, pressing issues New Yorkers’ face: reducing income and property taxes, cleaning up Albany and making our state a safer and more affordable place to live, work and raise a family,” he said.

According to the independent Tax Foundation, New York state’s Tax Freedom Day took place May 11, making it the third highest taxed state in the nation. The annual study found that, all totaled, Americans will pay $4.99 trillion, or 31 percent, of the national income on taxes in 2016. New Yorkers will spend more on taxes than they will on food, clothing or housing combined.