Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office today knocked a report from the Tax Foundation that showed New York has the worst business climate in the nation, saying that credit agencies have cited New York’s turnaround and that the state has had job growth.
“Over the last three years, New York state has added more than 300,000 private sector jobs, received a positive outlook from Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, reduced barriers and lowered taxes for businesses and put the state on secure fiscal footing,” said Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi. “Objective examinations of New York’s record by credible sources have reflected these facts.”
His office said that middle-class income tax rates are the lowest in 60 years. They were lowered slightly in 2011, along with keeping higher taxes on the wealthy—although the rich did see their taxes drop some too.
Cuomo’s office also cited the property tax-cap implemented in 2011 and the highest job count in state history, at nearly 7.5 million. It said that Forbes recently ranked New York as having the 21st best business climate in the nation.
The Tax Foundation stood by the report, saying New York hasn’t done enough to improve its tax situation.
“There are lots of great things about New York, but the tax code is not one of them,” said Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard. “And the question is are you doing what you can to grow the economy or are you hindering it?”
Drenkard knocked some of Cuomo’s programs. He said the tax cap only slows the growth of property taxes and takes years to have any tangible impact. And tax-free zones being established by Cuomo near college campuses targets one sector, Drenkard said.
“That’s a gimmick. What New York needs is broad-based tax reform,” Drenkard said.
Still, he said he has hope for Cuomo’s new tax-cutting commission—the second one Cuomo has established in the last year.
“I’m hopeful for this tax-reform commission,” he said. “Any sort of positive changes to tax structure could move New York head of New Jersey next year.”
New Jersey was 49th.