Commission Pitches ‘Revenue-Neutral’ Tax Changes
A report from a tax comission created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls for a serious of administrative reforms aimed at simplifying and updating the state’s tax code and collection of taxes.
The 157-page report can be found here.
The recommendations are considered “revenue neutral” in that they don’t call for more taxes or seek a reduction in the overall amount collected.
The report calls for a modernization of the state’s sales tax and urges “more progressive ways” to find sales tax relief for low and middle-income earners.
Among the recommendations, the state’s sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110 would be repealed, with new sales taxes added elsewhere including coin-operated vending machine.
There are also a number of tax credits the report recommends altering, including a scaling back of the state’s generous film-tax credit, the investment tax credit and Brownfield tax credit, while also calling for a faster phase out of the 18a assessment surcharge on utilities.
The state’s estate tax should be eliminated on middle class earners and small businesses, the report suggests.
The report also makes a number of recommendations for simplying the collection of taxes and calls for a “review” of the best practices for tax administration in order to ensure compliance.
The commission’s report stresses that New York has one of the highest tax burdens in the country, but at the same time notes a positive feature of the state’s personal income tax is how progressive it is. The PIT accounts for about 40 percent of the state’s revneue.
But the report is perhaps most critical of how the state collects taxes, especially when it comes to property taxes.
“New York’s system of property tax administration has been ranked among the lowest in the 50 states,” the report says.
The commission found that there are nearly 1,000 assessing units in New York, more than most states of comparable size and that there is no single valution standard.
“These administrative features result in a lack of fairness and transparency in the administration of the tax and represent a compliance burden for businesses,” the report found.
The idea for the commission was first announced in December 2011, when Cuomo engineered an overhaul of the state’s tax code in the midst of political pressure to keep a surcharge on high income earners that was due to expire.
Though state officials in both parties called the action a tax cut, the overhaul generated revenue for the state that went toward paying down the budget.
A year later Cuomo appointed Peter Solomon and former Comptroller Carl McCall to co-chair the panel.
The commission is spearate from the effort that is also co-chaired by McCall and Republican former Gov. George Pataki that is charged with seeking ways to reduce the state’s tax burden.
The issue of state taxes will likely come to a head this legislative session as Cuomo has indicated he wants to find ways to cut taxes, while New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is entering office seeking a tax increase on those making $500,000 and more in order to fund universal pre-Kindergarten.
It’s yet to be determined where the cash to fund a tax cut will come from, considering that the deficit is estimated to be $1.7 billion from the coming 2014-15 fiscal year.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on November 14, 2013 at 3:36 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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