Saturday, 26 May, 2018

Budget amendment would allow early voting in NY

Gov. Cuomo's popularity takes a dive Siena poll shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference in New York on Dec. 11 2017
Ellis Copeland | 15 February, 2018, 12:00

Andrew Cuomo's administration laid out an ambitious plan Monday to restructure the state's tax code to ease the burden of the recently enacted federal law.

The proposal would give companies the option of collecting a 5 percent payroll tax on workers to replace the state income tax - an end-run around the federal law that imposes a $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes. NY is one of 13 states that doesn't have some form of early voting and requires and excuse to obtain an absentee ballot.

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. The switch would be optional, and the changes phased in, to minimize confusion for workers and businesses.

"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.

Cuomo's plan wouldn't "protect the average New Yorker", Lazar added, but rather "the wealthy New Yorkers" who are high earners and pay high property taxes.

Cuomo's amendments also called for the creation of two government-controlled charitable foundations that would fund health care and education. Lawmakers in California are considering a similar move.

Modest fixes are possible this year, but ideas such as replacing the state income tax with a payroll tax need lots of study. Business leaders said they aren't sure how many businesses might sign up for a new, potentially confusing tax system.

The D.C. deal is bad for those proposing a state tax increase on wealthy households who got a federal tax cut.

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There is strong support for early voting among NY voters.

One caveat is that funding for the Essential Plan, which covers about 700,000 New Yorkers, still might be in jeopardy.

"I will say this: a payroll tax, that makes my head spin".

"Federal law prohibits deductions for individuals".

Several other budget-related proposals were announced by the governor's office on Monday.

Another amendment would restrict sex offenders whose victims are under the age of 13 from living or going near schools with young children.

"We'll take credit for that, " Flanagan said of the $1.5 billion tax action that Cuomo will propose this week. Voters will have at least eight hours on weekdays and five hours on weekends to cast early ballots.

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