On the heels of a report from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax reform commission, state Senate Republicans and a handful of liberal-leaning groups put out their own plans Tuesday for reshaping the state’s tax code.
In a 50-page report, the Senate GOP laid out a series of recommendations to change New York’s tax policy, including a permanent 2-percent annual spending cap on the state budget and a requirement that any surplus be put to reducing taxes.
The plan, which was released Tuesday after the Republicans held a series of hearings across the state, also recommended reducing the state’s corporate tax rates and adjusting income-tax brackets each year for inflation. A surcharge on utilities would expire by 2017 under the plan, while the state’s estate tax would be scaled back significantly.
“We are proposing a plan to greatly reduce the tax burden on New Yorkers at every level, making it more competitive for businesses to locate and grow here,” Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said in a statement. “There is nothing more progressive than empowering the private sector to create good-paying jobs.”
Several progressive and labor-backed organizations had a different take. In their own series of recommendations, the groups—including New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness and the Fiscal Policy Institute—issued a five-point plan they said would close loopholes in the corporate tax code and re-structure the state’s income tax rates.
Specifically, the plan would call for creating new income tax brackets for the state’s highest earners while cracking down on corporate taxpayers and creating greater oversight for economic-development incentives. From that, the plan would increase aid to local governments and institute a “circuit breaker”—a property-tax break for households whose taxes take up a certain percentage of their income.
Ron Deutsch, executive director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, said he expects the state’s tax policy to be a major topic of discussing when lawmakers return to the state Capitol in 2014. Cuomo’s Tax Reform and Fairness Commission released its recommendations last week, and a separate Cuomo panel looking at potential tax cuts is expected to release its findings next month.
“There’s a dynamic where we’re talking about the tax system—and the fairness and adequacy of our tax system—moreso than we have in quite a while,” Deutsch said. “I think this debate is going to be front and center along with the fact that we’re under-funding our schools and our municipalities.”