Offering few details, Cuomo says he will continue funding free tuition plan


Curiously, the governor called tax reform a direct attack against high-tax states such as NY.

Republicans who control the State Senate are not enthusiatstic about the governor's plan to implement a payroll tax.

He said he wants to restructure the state's taxes to reduce the federal increases - without hurting the state's bottom line. Currently, investors pay lower tax rates than ordinary New Yorkers on their income by way of the carried interest loophole. He also suggested adding a new tax on opioids sold in the state to raise millions and curb abuse.

Here's a story I have in today's Times Union about the preliminary plan to shift employee income taxes to employer payroll taxes.

Hard up for cash, Gov. Cuomo is trying to sneak through a $1.5 billion "stealth" income-tax hike - on top of $1 billion in other tax bumps.

The employee would still be responsible for paying state income tax on their $94,000 in earnings, but would receive a tax credit from the state to make up for it - ultimately bringing them back to the same take-home pay as before. He believes the state should consider additional taxes on the wealthy - an opinion shared by many NY progressives but one that Cuomo hasn't embraced. Lawmakers hope to pass a new state budget by April 1.

"It simply confirms that all of the options are ridiculously complex and would be hard to actually implement", E.J. McMahon, research director for Albany's Empire Center a fiscally conservative watchdog group, said in an email.

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$400 million as a result of the $10,000 federal cap on the property-tax write-off.

Personal income tax collections were strong in December, but beyond that, it's anybody's guess.

Big questions remain, however: How would the state tax non-earned income, such as revenue from investments, dividends or unemployment compensation? State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox was less diplomatic, saying Cuomo should look for ways to cut existing taxes rather than pursue a "ridiculous and unrealistic payroll tax that will only harm the state's economy further".

This declaration was followed by a statement inspired by the film "Dr. Strangelove": "The federal government pushed a button and sent a missile with "New York" written on it". The Governor has traveled across NY to warn against reforms to the tax code that would increase taxes on New Yorkers by $14.3 billion.

And regardless of where it ends up, the federal changes promise to put a dent in the pocketbooks of New York's taxpayers, at least those who lose out on the higher deductibility.

With the state facing a possible $4.4 billion deficit, all aspects of this year's budget will be impacted.