Cuomo Bullied His Miserable Tax Package Through – The Picture Isn’t Pretty

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Where do you cut the money? You’re going to cut funds where you spend them. You have no economic future if New York is the tax capital of the nation. To raise taxes to raise more revenue is not the answer.

~ Governor Andrew Cuomo, November, 2010

 

Cuomo’s tax package provides small cuts for some of the middle class and big taxes on the “rich.” Newsday reported that Cuomo ordered the Republican GOP to vote unanimously for his tax package or he’d campaign against them in their home districts next year. I guess it is now okay to act like a gangster in NY.

In NY, only certain members of the ruling elite make the key decisions.

Cuomo called Assembly GOP leader Brian Kolb after 11 PM on Wednesday as Republicans met to discuss a bill to raise taxes on the wealthy (which is defined by His Royal Highness Cuomo as $1 million).

Huntington Station Republican Assemblyman James Conte said, “Brian hung up the phone and calmly told our members that the governor said he would personally come in and campaign in your district if you vote no. We all kind of looked around and said, ‘What the hell?’ I don’t understand it. Ninety-nine percent of us were looking to vote for this thing. What more does he want?'”

One reaction from Assemblyman Fitpatrick of Smithtown of St. James was, “The first thing people started saying was, ‘My God, is this Spitzer all over again?'”

Under Cuomo’s tax plan, the income tax rate for the “rich” will increase from 6.85 percent to 8.82 percent on Jan. 1.

Bloomberg Businessweek has an accurate depiction of what really went down: …Meanwhile, households making $300,000 to $2 million — or single filers making $150,000 to $1 million a year — will pay the same 6.85 percent rate they would have paid come Jan. 1, when a temporary tax surcharge expires. (Editor’s note: In other words, the cut for those making $150,000+ is not a cut since another tax cut which is expiring is merely being replaced with this cut. Cuomo is the king of legerdemain.)

According to the WSJ, some questioned the logic of the tax package –

“So, for the next three years, New York will continue to have one of the nation’s six highest tax rates,” said E.J. McMahon of the fiscally conservative Manhattan Institute. He said New York City residents will pay the highest income tax rate in the nation, at 12.5 percent.

He said the maximum savings will be just $600 a family with a household income of $300,000, while a family of four making $65,000 will save about $222.

In other words, minimal amounts of money will go to the middle class and there will be large tax increases for anyone who could create jobs in NY.

The package rolls back the MTA payroll tax for some of the populace. I must add that the MTA part of the deal does nothing about the unsustainable costs of the MTA. There will be no audit to expose their wastefulness so something can be done about the root cause.

According to Streetsblog…The payroll mobility tax will be cut by $250 million under the deal, though the MTA will be reimbursed for its losses.

The payroll tax, which generates around $1.5 billion in revenue for transit every year, has been a top target of Senate Republicans from the minute it was proposed in 2009. Under the deal, small businesses — likely those with annual payrolls less than $1.75 million, based on previous reports — will have their MTA tax reduced. The current payroll tax exemption for public schools will also be extended to private and parochial schools.

According to the Straphangers Campaign’s Gene Russianoff, that $250 million cut may not affect the MTA at all. For public schools, the exemption currently works like this: They first pay the payroll tax and then file for a refund from the state’s general fund. The MTA gets the money up front despite the exemption. If the proposed reimbursements work like this, transit service will likely remain unharmed by the changes…

Then there is the bill’s infrastructure fund. It is another government spending stream that can be ransacked and which will require even more government union workers.

Cuomo can now say the tax bill was bipartisan and, in fact, he can say the Republicans loved his plan. He apparently wanted to say everyone loved his plan.

The NY Times called Cuomo’s maneuvering “stealth,” I guess that is the new PC term for bullying and thuggish behavior. Is this what we have become in NY?

All Senate Republicans voted for it. Six Republican Assemblymen and two Democratic Assemblymen did not vote for it. I don’t know if Cuomo also threatened the Democrats. I wonder if the two Democrats are in Republican-leaning districts, and had Cuomo’s okay or if they are courageous.

The “tax the rich to death” philosophy is now law in New York.

This video is of Assemblyman Chris Friend courageously fighting the push. He voted against it.

 

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