Last thing NY needs is a payroll tax

Gladys Abbott
January 19, 2018

"This year is going to be challenging, my friends", he said at the beginning of the address. Right now, we have no idea where the money is going.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo used his Executive Budget speech to rail against the new federal tax reform law, making it the focus of his proposed $164 billion state spending plan and proposing the state enact its own tax system overhaul to avoid the effects of the federal law.

"It's never enough", Cuomo replied.

The big bit of creativity in the budget is a questionable effort to switch NY from collecting taxes through an income tax to a payroll tax in order to get around the new limits on federal tax deductions.

Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out his plans for the 2019 New York State budget.

"It turned out, though, that closing the gap was not our biggest challenge" Cuomo's Budget Director Robert Mujica wrote in the budget book. The deduction had been especially popular in high-tax states like NY, where many homeowners now face large increases in their federal tax bills. His advice is to "get out of the way before it lands" by restructuring the state tax system.

"You can't possibly get anywhere near where you want to be on education and health care unless you raise revenues".

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"I highly encourage the governor and my legislative colleagues to resist the temptation to finger point, but instead work together to see where we can pare down spending and wisely protect investment where it counts the most", Butler continued. "The state of NY took $456 million of the MTA's budget". He also touted the expansion of the state's "free" SUNY/CUNY Excelsior Scholarship Program; the income ceiling for eligibility increased to $110,000 from $100,000 effective the next academic year.

And Cuomo proposed a tax on what he called the "windfall profits" that will be raked in by health-insurance companies as a result of the new federal tax code.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Suffolk County Republican, offered a succinct response when asked if his GOP colleagues would go along with the Cuomo tax package: "No". There was no plan to lower the costs Albany places on local governments. Such measures are also being discussed in neighboring New Jersey, but could be overruled by the Internal Revenue Service.

"During these uncertain times, Governor Cuomo has led our State by representing the best interests of New Yorkers and advocating against the divisive and unfortunate actions in Washington".

Tedisco noted that the budget should address the following: Cap taxes and spending, help those most vulnerable and invest in education and infrastructure. He deferred the issue of legalizing marijuana by instructing the Department of Health to conduct a study on its impact on the state. It also wants to make sure the state would have adequate funds to support critical programs, he says.

The spending proposal released by Cuomo on Tuesday contained few specifics about any tax changes, which would be worked out with lawmakers over the next few months. "The presentation we heard today was more about political positioning rather than policy solutions that directly address the state's longstanding problems".

Overall, Cuomo's budget caps state spending increases at under 2 percent over last year's budget. Similarly, a plan to reduce traffic in New York City while raising revenue for public transit is due later this week, though Cuomo did say it would use cashless tolling to charge drivers who enter a certain zone in Manhattan. You'd still end up with the same $95 either way.

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