As the New York State Budget picture begins to emerge, New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt. Deputy Leader Andrew Lanza, and members of the Senate Republican Conference today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins urging her and the Democratic Conference to reject a proposed tax hike on middle-class New Yorkers. After years of phasing in the historic, Senate Republican-authored middle-class tax cut -- which has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in relief to millions of taxpayers since its enactment -- Governor Cuomo last week reversed course in his Executive Budget address with a plan to balance the multi-billion dollar deficit on the backs of hardworking New Yorkers.
“New York has become the tax capital of the nation under one-party rule. Despite the Governor’s best efforts to collect revenue by soaking hardworking New Yorkers, we believe it is in the best interest of all of our constituents to reject these unfair tax hikes. In the middle of a pandemic that has taken so much from so many of us, it is important now more than ever not to hurt our hardworking middle-class. The Senate Republicans will unequivocally reject any budget that includes more taxes on New York families. We are asking the Senate Democrats to join us in making that commitment, and work with us to make New York more affordable,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.
“It’s outrageous that Governor Cuomo calls on middle-class taxpayers to give up long-overdue tax relief, that was negotiated and bargained for by Senate Republicans three years ago in a package to reduce taxes in New York State, so that he can go ahead and increase state spending by billions of dollars. This move shows just how committed the governor is to not helping the middle-class of New York State,” said Senator Tom O’Mara, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
The historic middle-class tax cut, which was enacted with strong bipartisan support, took effect in 2018. One of the largest tax cuts in state history, the Senate Republican-authored plan would reduce middle-class tax rates by 20 percent and provide $4.2 million in annual savings for more than six million middle-class taxpayers and small businesses when fully phased in. Governor Cuomo’s current budget plan includes a misguided proposal to delay the middle-class tax cuts this year.
Governor Cuomo’s plan to raise taxes on the already-overstressed and rapidly-shrinking New York middle-class comes as the state annually continues to rank among the worst of all 50 states in overall tax climate. New York State also consistently leads all 50 states in outmigration precisely because of its taxing problem.
Today’s letter and announcement comes after Senate Republicans earlier this month unveiled their bold vision to Reset New York. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins herself said we have an “opportunity to reset,” a clear indication that New York is on the wrong path with regards to tax policy in the state.