December 8, 2011

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Latest News, New York

Cuomo, Legislature agree on middle-class tax cuts

ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  LINK TO ARTICLE

ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders agreed Tuesday to income tax cuts for New Yorkers making $40,000 to $300,000, which will save most middle-class families $300 to $400 a year.

That cut, some jobs programs, reductions in the commuter and manufacturing taxes, and flood relief will be funded by $2 billion from a tax increase on the wealthiest New Yorkers.

The tax cut for middle-class wage earners amounts to a fraction of 1 percentage point and will be funded by an increase in the rate for married taxpayers making more than $2 million a year and single taxpayers whose yearly income exceeds $1 million.

Those highest earners will pay an 8.2 percent rate, up from the 6.85 percent they would have paid beginning Jan. 1 after a temporary surcharge expires. New Yorkers filing jointly who make $300,000 to $2 million, or single filers making $150,000 to $1 million, will pay the same 6.85 rate they would have paid come Jan. 1 had there been no deal.

The $2 billion tax increase follows months of efforts by Assembly Democrats to hike taxes on the wealthy despite promises by Cuomo, also a Democrat, and the Senate’s Republican majority that they’d block any increases in one of the nation’s most heavily taxed states.

“The governor moved more than anyone could have anticipated,” said Billy Easton of the Alliance for Quality Education, one of the groups pushing to restore school aid and social service funding cut over the last three years of fiscal crisis. “It is unquestionably a response to the organizing and demands of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers looking for fairness.”

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.