Local lawmakers and statewide groups have been reacting to the New York State Tax Relief Commission report, which was released yesterday. The panel — headed by former Gov. George Pataki and former state Comptroller H. Carl McCall, chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees — recommends providing incentives to local governments to reduce the cost of operations, reducing the corporate tax rate to the lowest level in 46 years, cutting the tax rate for manufacturers, providing a circuit-breaker, which limits property taxes based on ability to pay, and other measures.
These are reactions to the report from local officials–
From Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Yonkers–
“The Senate Democratic Conference has long called for common-sense reforms to the state’s tax code and the need to reduce the burden placed on New York’s families and businesses. I look forward to working with Governor Cuomo to achieve these goals. My colleagues in Senate Democratic Conference have already been urging for many of the recommendations included in today’s commission report, including passage of a property tax circuit breaker and the immediate elimination of the 18-A energy surcharge.”
From Westchester Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, a Democrat–
“Today’s release of the final report from the New York State Tax Relief Commission, charged by Governor Cuomo, rightly recommends freezing property taxes for two years, and lowering tax rates for businesses while reforming the estate tax—real solutions for overburdened taxpayers that will help spur economic growth, attract new businesses to the state and allow many of our seniors to stay in their homes.”
From Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, a Democrat–
“I was proud to join Governor Cuomo in helping pass the property tax cap as a member of the Assembly and am proud to have kept Yonkers property taxes within the cap over the last two years as Mayor. I commend the Governor for his continued leadership in relieving the tax burden for New York’s residents and businesses, and helping keep cities like Yonkers attractive and affordable for people to live and work.”
From Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, D-Ossining. She and Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, Warren County, have proposed legislation since 2006 that would provide middle-class tax relief by capping the maximum property tax paid by households with adjusted gross incomes of $250,000 or less.
“I believe the most effective, fair, property tax relief program would be through a middle class circuit breaker. Now that New York State is seeing a more positive economic outlook, this is the perfect time to start this program and give significant relief to middle-class taxpayers,” said Galef. “As a longtime proponent of sharing services and consolidating government entities, I was also pleased to see this proposed in today’s recommendations as well. I urge Governor Cuomo and my colleagues to make this a priority in the 2014 legislative session.”
From Assemblyman David Buchwald, D-White Plains–
“Heading into the new year, our focus must remain on easing the tax burdens our families and businesses shoulder. The Tax Relief Commission report offers steps we must take to make relief a reality, and includes recommendations I have fought for – property tax relief for overburdened homeowners and the accelerated elimination of a costly utility surcharge. These suggestions, along with changes to estate and corporate taxes, will help spur economic development and make New York a more attractive destination for businesses and help our families.”
From Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, D-Mount Pleasant–
“The tax commission got it right suggesting reduction of middle class property taxes. The commission got it wrong suggesting reduction of other taxes on those doing well in this difficult economy. We need to assess our needs before we look at reducing revenues. The State is wrongfully cutting programs that help kids and adults with special needs while abdicating its responsibility to pay for education statewide. We need universal pre-k and after-school statewide. The DEC is too short staffed to properly enforce environmental laws. We have the greatest income disparity in one hundred years. The rich don’t need more tax breaks – the State needs the revenue to make smart investments to meet our significant needs.”