Weighing in on tax reform

— “The economy has taken another turn for the worse,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a video address on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Then, he introduced a package of legislative and executive proposals to create jobs, cut taxes for middle class New Yorkers and provide additional flood relief.

Cuomo presented the Fair Tax Plan, which would generate $1.9 billion in additional revenue for the state and would result in a tax cut for 4.4 million middle class New Yorkers, including a $690 million reduction for middle class taxpayers.

The changes to the tax code would slightly reduce the tax rate for most income levels from $40,000 per year up through over $2 million annual income. Those making under $40,000 per year would not see a change in their tax rate.

Any unspent funds from the revenue generated by the tax code reform would be held in a new priority reserve fund to go toward future needs regarding job creation, local mandate relief, education, health care and mortgage foreclosure protection.

“This comprehensive plan will reduce the tax rate for middle class families to their lowest levels in more than 50 years, create thousands of new private sector jobs and begin to turn our economy around,” said Majority Leader Dean Skelos in a statement.

But not all lawmakers feel that way. Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, R-Schaghticoke, said he voted “no” and doesn’t consider the tax code reform to actually be reform.

“I think the tax code reform … doesn’t mean much for most of my constituents,” said McLaughlin. “If you’re making below $40,000 you get no relief at all and if you’re a retiree on Social Security or pension you get no tax break at all. The people that I think need the most help didn’t get any help.”

Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, R-Glenville, said he considers the deal to be a sign that New York State government can work together.

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