The Cuomo administration on Monday proposed a new payroll tax system and a charitable contribution program to shield New Yorkers who will be limited in how much they can deduct in state and local taxes. At a press conference Tuesday morning, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said he "can't comment" on Cuomo's payroll tax proposal because he hasn't seen the specifics.
Since his amendment is part of his financial plan, it would have to be included in a state budget that Cuomo and legislators are supposed to agree on by April 1, the start of New York's fiscal year. "By offering early voting across the state, we are further breaking down barriers to democracy and helping to ensure that all New Yorkers' voices are heard".
The centerpiece of the Democrat's proposal is a voluntary payroll tax that companies could adopt in lieu of the existing income tax paid by workers.
Owing to the high cost of living downstate, however, many middle-class New Yorkers technically fit that description.
Additionally, the governor's amendment would also create two funds that allow taxpayers to donate money to health care and education services. This was in direct response to the federal tax plan's capping of state and local tax deductions at $10,000, which the governor has said will drastically increase taxes for state residents.
"The Council also continues to emphasize that, with multi-year, multi-billion (dollar) budget deficits, NY needs to more fully examine its spending practices, especially in major programs such as Medicaid and education, and determine why are our costs are so much higher than other states without the results to match", said Business Council President Heather Briccetti.
"While the federal government takes direct aim at the economic heart of NY, with this new legislation we are taking action to protect hardworking New Yorkers from this attack from Washington", Cuomo said in a statement.
"We're trying to come up with solutions to the problem the federal government handed us", said state Budget Director Robert Mujica.
"Federal law prohibits deductions for individuals".
"From the conversations we've had it seems that the businesses who would take advantage of this are fairly narrow in scope", said Zack Hutchins, spokesman for the Business Council of New York State, a leading business advocacy group.
"In most cases, they will go down".