In a statement Monday, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County) said the budget focus should be on cutting taxes. He also proposed to "decouple" NY state's tax code from the federal tax code to avoid state tax increases brought on by federal tax increases.
On Tuesday, Flanagan poked at Cuomo for "haranguing" Republicans in Washington over tax hikes some New Yorkers will face under the new federal tax law and then, in his budget plan, raising taxes on New Yorkers by what he estimated is almost $3 billion.
Cuomo, a potential presidential candidate in 2020 who is seeking re-election this fall, has started a public campaign to call on Congress to repeal the provision, saying it will lead to a $14 billion hit on New Yorkers. "With these reforms to our tax code, we are doing everything we can to protect the rights and wallets of families across NY".
Cuomo unveiled several amendments to the budget he proposed in January that are meant to offset the impact of the new federal tax law on New Yorkers by, among other things, implementing a new, optional, payroll tax system and creating new charitable foundations.
"Even if you only lose a small number of high income taxpayers, that would cripple the state's revenues".
If passed by the legislature, employers would be given the choice to opt into the payroll tax that would be phased in over three years beginning January 2019. It would also be a voluntary program.
The poll, taken by phone February 5 to 8, also shows most New Yorkers trust special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and believe he should be allowed to continue unimpeded. "Take-home pay would stay exactly the same". Now we're going to shift it over to the employer, and you're going to tell the employee, 'You're fine.
Flanagan questions whether the process could be as straightforward as it sounds.
"The employees will have to consider a lot of options". Cuomo's budget amendment seeks to address those concerns.
Flanagan said he'll wait to see the details of the bills before passing judgment. "That makes my head spin". Taxpayers making such contributions would get a deduction on their federal taxes.
The Siena poll also discovered that New Yorkers find the Supreme Court and the Federal Bureau of Investigation "highly trustworthy", Greenberg said, adding that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is strongly trusted by Democrats and independents and breaks even with Republicans.