Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget plan calls for potentially shifting from employees paying income taxes to instead a payroll tax, or creating a charitable contribution program so homeowners can still fully deduct their state and local taxes.
Cuomo calls it the New York State Taxpayer Protection Act, and it would need approval of the state Legislature as part of the $164 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts April 1, The Democrat & Chronical reported.
“Just the notion of a payroll tax scares me… I don’t see an appetite for doing something like that,” Senate Republican Majority Leader John Flanagan said at a Breakfast event at the Atlantic Club, the N.Y Post reported.
For some homeowners, particularly in wealthier areas, the new Trump tax plan which includes a $10,000 limit on federal tax deductions on state and local taxes will lead to a tax increase when people file their 2018 taxes next year. Cuomo has proposed this shift to a payroll tax to get around the changes because a payroll tax would still be deductible on federal returns.
The response to this proposal has been underwhelming, as several elected officials and policy experts offered their views after the announcement.
Flanagan said the change is complicated and workers will not be pleased at seeing a drop in their weekly take-home pay.
“The executive budget proposed today by Governor Cuomo offers little to help New York’s struggling small businesses and looks to impose a complicated and potentially unworkable new payroll tax,” said Mike Durant, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
“The solution is to lower the cost of government in New York and make our state a place where businesses can create jobs, so our people don’t have to flee,” Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, told The Democrat and Chronical.
E.J. McMahon, research director for the Empire Center for Public Policy, a conservative think tank, said the plan is “not practical or feasible” and amounts to a distraction from the challenge of cutting government spending, The Niagara Gazette pointed out.
The second option in Cuomo’s plan involves, creating a charitable contribution program so homeowners can still fully deduct their state and local taxes.
Supporters of the new federal tax laws generally agree that Cuomo is not wise in seeking to overhaul New York’s own tax code because the new tax code will largely benefit most New Yorkers with lower incomes. Thus far, Cuomo has not been able to win over the GOP N.Y State majority or the Upstate region’s congressional conservative delegates.
By Ira Fishman