Income Tax Credits And Tax Saving Measures Highlight New State Laws For 2007

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

January 19, 2007

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) announced today that several new laws creating new income tax credits and other tax saving measures are among the new state laws for 2007.

"These new laws will put money back in the pockets of our hardworking, overburdened taxpayers," said Senator Fuschillo. "Providing Long Islanders with tax relief will remain a priority as the 2007 legislative session begins."

The following are some of the new laws for 2007:

- Establishment of the Empire State Child Tax Credit

Parents with children between the ages of four and seventeen will be allowed a personal income tax credit of approximately $330 per child between the ages of 4-17. This is equal to one-third of the federal child tax credit.

- Elimination of the Marriage Income Tax Penalty

Married couples will see an increase in their standard deduction to $15,000 for joint filers and $7,500 for separate filers. This will eliminate the "marriage penalty", in which married couples who filed for the standard deduction received a lower deduction than unmarried individuals.

- State Office of Medicaid Inspector General

The Office of Medicaid Inspector General, which was created by the State Legislature in 2006, will establish regulations requiring each Medicaid provider to implement Medicaid Provider Compliance Programs. These programs will help eliminate improper Medicaid spending and save taxpayers’ money by making it easier to detect inaccurate billings and resolve payment discrepancies. These programs will also impose checks and balances on the system to prevent these problems in the future.

- Single Sales Factor

To help protect New Yorkers from losing jobs to outsourcing, New York State created the single sales factor. The second phase of the single sales factor is now in effect, and is expected to save New York businesses $43 million in 2007 and $130 when fully implemented.

This new measure reforms the previous law, which caused businesses that increased payroll or capital investments in New York to incur a higher State income tax liability. This encouraged job outsourcing, especially in the crucial manufacturing, broadcasting and securities industries.

- Increased tax savings options for seniors

- Seniors who share a home and meet the qualifications for both the senior citizen and disabled person exemptions will now have the option of choosing the one exemption that is most beneficial to them.

- New Protections for Individuals with Autism

Under a law authored by Senator Fuschillo, the State Department of Insurance must create regulations to ensure that autism patients receive equitable coverage of autism by insurance companies. State regulated insurance companies whose policies provide coverage for hospital, surgical, or medical care will no longer to be able to exclude coverage for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions otherwise covered by the policy solely because the treatment is provided to diagnose or treat autism.

- "Timothy’s Law"

- The State Department of Insurance must promulgate regulations to ensure that adults and children with biologically based mental illnesses receive the same health care coverage benefits as those provided for any other physical ailments.

- Pool alarms to protect children from accidental drowning

- All newly installed swimming pools must now be equipped with pool alarms. This will provide an added level of protection against accidental drowning by alerting that a child has fallen in the pool.

- Disaster provisions for pets

- State and local governments must make provisions within their disaster preparedness plans to assist individuals with household pets and service animals following a disaster, with particular attention to means of evacuation, shelter, and transportation options.