Cuomo unveils amendment to payroll tax proposal in executive budget

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The centerpiece of the Democrat's proposal is a voluntary payroll tax that companies could adopt in lieu of the existing income tax paid by workers.

Since his amendment is part of his financial plan, it would have to be included in a state budget that Cuomo and legislators are supposed to agree on by April 1, the start of New York's fiscal year.

"Employers will have to carefully consider the shift of tax liability and administrative costs when evaluating this election", said Heather Briccetti, president of the state Business Council.

Because the payroll tax would be phased in over three years, employers could "blend in" the new payroll tax with normal salary increases so that employees' take-home pay is not reduced, Mujica said. Last year, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) dismissed the concept, citing the potential costs and saying the current voting system "on the whole works very well". He also proposed to "decouple" NY state's tax code from the federal tax code to avoid state tax increases brought on by federal tax increases.

Cuomo took a hit with Democrats, but was worse with Republicans, while his popularity fell in New York City and dropped significantly in upstate, said Steven Greenberg, a spokesman for the Siena College poll. It's Captain, New York's "First Dog!" Last week his budget director conceded that figure reflects only the cap on state and local tax deductions.

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The plan would also create two charitable contribution funds - one for health care and the other education - to help pay for those essential services, which account for almost half the state budget.

"We should be cutting taxes, not raising them", Flanagan said. New Yorkers who donate to the funds would receive a state income tax credit equal to 85% of their donation.

Longer term, the tax and budget bills might be disastrous for the economy as huge federal deficits send inflation soaring, but that's pretty far off in the future. Data from the Partnership for New York City show that most single residents making about $200,000 or less will see their federal income taxes go down, as will some families making up to $500,000 or more.

"Just because you used to have $10,000 in SALT deductions doesn't necessarily mean your taxes will rise", said E.J McMahon, founder of the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative group in Albany.

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