A coalition of community, labor, faith, student and Occupy groups is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature to close several corporate tax loopholes members consider unfair. Doing so would raise nearly $1 billion for the 2013-14 state budget and “level the playing field” among New York-based small and medium-sized businesses and multinational corporations that are based outside New York, they said today.
Members of the coalition said Cuomo’s $136 billion budget proposal would close some corporate tax loopholes, but the state should do more. They are recommending ending tax subsidies for companies that oursource jobs and tax breaks for companies that don’t create jobs and strengthening the corporate alternative minimum tax in the state, among other changes. The additional money could prevent more budget cuts to state and local public services and the social safety net and allow for restorations of some past funding cuts, they said.
“For too long, corporations have exploited loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of taxes, and the result has been less revenue to support stronger public schools and colleges for all New York students,” Andrew Pallotta, executive president of New York State United Teachers, said in a statement. “It’s time to correct this imbalance by demanding an end to loopholes that benefit big corporations at the expense of our schools and the property taxpayers who support them.”
The corporate alternative minimum tax dropped from 5 percent to 1.5 percent in the past 20 years, according to Assemblyman James Brennan, D-Brooklyn. Increasing it to 3.5 percent would bring in $300 million in revenues, he said.
“New York’s Corporate Alternate minimum tax was established in 1987 to insure that large profitable corporations paid at least something in state income taxes,” said Frank Mauro, executive director of the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute. “In 1994 the State began to add loopholes to the AMT, it is absolutely essential that the state restore the integrity of the safety net on the tax system.”
Coalition members believe “many highly profitable companies have been avoiding taxation in New York State for far too long and it must end,” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.
Lawmakers are holding a series of public hearings on the governor’s budget plan. The new fiscal year begins April 1.