Monthly Column: Tax relief for Western New York residents


By Michael H. Ranzenhofer, State Senator - 61st District

Working in a bipartisan manner, the State Legislature enacted a plan earlier this month that will cut taxes by $3.3 billion for millions of New Yorkers and thousands of manufacturers.

Under this Middle Class Tax Cut and Job Creation plan, every person who pays State income taxes will either pay less or the same amount as they pay now, and the overwhelming majority of taxpayers will get a tax break.

Parts of the tax cut plan include:

  • Over 4.4 million middle-class taxpayers will receive a total of $690 million returned to them in their paychecks, cutting tax rates for the middle class to their lowest levels in over 50 years.

  • The corporate tax rate for over 5,000 manufacturers in Upstate New York will be cut in half, saving $25 million for businesses to invest in creating new jobs.

  • Income brackets and the standard deduction will be adjusted for the rate of inflation to prevent “bracket creep,” providing taxpayers who pay personal income taxes $440 million in savings over two years.

  • The personal income tax surcharge, enacted by Democrats in 2009, will be eliminated, resulting in ninety-one percent of taxpayers currently affected receiving a tax cut.


The Business Council of New York State, Unshackle Upstate, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the New York Farm Bureau have all put their support behind this tax cut plan.

Most importantly, no taxpayers will see their taxes go up.  For the first time since I was elected to the State Senate, the State Legislature passed a bill which actually cuts taxes – instead of resorting to billions of dollars worth of tax increases as in prior State budgets.  In fact, this tax cut plan cuts rates for the middle class to the lowest level in 58 years.

Now,  New Yorkers – rather than State government – will get to save or spend more of their hard-earned money, and manufacturers will be able to put these savings towards creating new jobs.

Taxpayers in Western New York have benefited as a result of a number of important actions taken by the State Legislature in 2011: eliminating a $10 billion budget deficit without new taxes, cutting spending, capping property taxes and now cutting personal income taxes.  While leaders in Washington continue to be plagued by gridlock and dysfunction, New York is moving in the right direction: acting now to cut taxes so that the private sector can create jobs and strengthen our economy.

Certainly, this tax cut plan is a good start to next year’s budget process, as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to further reduce spending and return those dollars to you and your family.


Senator Ranzenhofer's monthly column appeared in the Amherst, Clarence and Ken-Ton Bee on Wednesday, December 21, 2011.