From the NYS Assembly • Sheldon Silver, Speaker
Herman D. Farrell Jr., Chair, Ways & Means Committee
Bipartisan budget provides real tax
relief for real New Yorkers
The Legislature approved a state budget that cuts taxes $1.6 billion this year and $2.5 billion next year, and rejects nearly $1 billion in tax increases the governor wanted to impose. As the result of bipartisan overrides of the governor’s budget vetoes, the Legislature ensured a spending plan that returns surplus tax dollars back to the families who paid them.
The budget targets tax relief for those who need it most, namely hard-working families, homeowners, seniors, and job-creating businesses. The budget provides real tax relief to real New Yorkers.
Relief from high property taxes
Local taxpayers need immediate relief from the burden of high property taxes and soaring housing costs. According to a recent state comptroller report, New York residents are paying the highest property taxes in the country, increasing at triple the rate of infl ation over the last fi ve years. In fact, property taxes have climbed by an average of 60 percent over the last decade.
The Legislature’s budget provides $756 million in property tax rebates to homeowners across the state. The budget also provides a cost of living adjustment to Enhanced STAR, which will save eligible seniors an additional $72 million.
Rejecting the governor’s sales taxes on clothing
The Legislature rejected the governor’s increase of the state sales tax on clothing and footwear items priced under $110. The budget permanently eliminated the regressive 4 percent state sales tax on clothing – saving shoppers approximately $600 million a year. Removing the sales tax will benefit New York by keeping more money in the pockets of working families. It will also help small retail businesses compete with those in neighboring states – which have already exempted clothing purchases from state sales taxes.
The Empire State Child Tax Credit
The Legislature’s budget contains $600 million in tax relief for New York families through a new child tax credit. The child tax credit is a maximum benefit of $330 for children between ages 4 and 17. This tax credit is superior to the governor’s shortsighted “education tax credit” – which was really just a school voucher, limited to educational expenses in only a small number of school districts.
The child tax credit is a more inclusive tax break for families with children, allowing families to apply their automatic tax savings to not only educational expenses, but any of the costs that come with raising children – like food, clothing and child care.
Reducing income taxes
The Legislature also reduced the marriage penalty tax, which will save married couples $41 million annually when fully phased in.
The New York City STAR personal income tax credit saves 3.1 million city residents $252 million annually, with an average credit of $78. The budget raises the credit amounts to $115 for single filers and $230 for joint filers. The average credit will be $145, bringing total STAR savings for New York City residents to $462 million annually.
Cutting business taxes
To help businesses grow and create jobs, the budget:
Other tax relief highlights
The budget includes:
Governor must not stand in the way of tax relief
Sadly, however, the governor has threatened to tie up some of this tax relief in the courts, including the property tax rebates. His objections are based on legalistic technicalities – not democratic principles. We need to remind him that he is Governor George Pataki – not King George Pataki – and urge him to support tax relief.
Americans rejected the idea of taxation without representation over two centuries ago. This Legislature’s amendments to the governor’s budget represent the priorities of elected representatives from both sides of the aisle in the Assembly and Senate – representatives from across the state who are attuned to the values and needs of people in their communities.
Ignoring the votes of over two-thirds of the people’s representatives in both houses of the Legislature would amount to an extraordinary attempt to seize powers not given him by the state constitution. The governor needs to realize that working families’ budgets are being stretched too thin. He must stop standing in the way of a budget that helps families keep more of their hard-earned money.
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