Cuomo creates Tax Relief Commission to cut NY taxes

Posted 2 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Former Gov. Pataki, Comptroller McCall will lead effort

Press release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo today announced the New York State Tax Relief Commission that will identify way to reduce the state’s property and business taxes to provide relief to New York’s homeowners and businesses.

The Commission will be co-chaired by former Gov. George Pataki and former State Comptroller Carl McCall. The Commission’s recommendations will be due by Dec. 6, for inclusion in the governor’s 2014 State of the State message.

“The responsible budgets and fiscal reforms put in place over the last three years have put the state in a position to seriously tackle the ‘tax capital’ mentality that for too long has driven businesses and families from New York,” Gov. Cuomo said. “The new Tax Relief Commission includes two of our state’s most respected leaders, former Gov. Pataki and Comptroller Carl McCall, as well as other highly-qualified New Yorkers who will examine new ways that we can reduce the burdensome taxes facing our businesses and our families, and by doing so make our state more competitive and fuel economic growth.”

The Tax Relief Commission is in addition to the governor’s efforts to streamline New York’s tax code to make the state more affordable and competitive, ultimately creating jobs and helping grow the economy. The new Tax Relief Commission will collaborate with the Tax Reform and Fairness Commission, launched last December to conduct a comprehensive review of the State’s taxation policy, including corporate, sales and personal income taxation and make recommendations to improve and simplify the current tax system.

The formation of the Tax Relief Commission is enabled by three years of fiscal integrity and responsible budgeting that puts the state in a position to examine new ways to provide tax relief to New Yorkers. Actions taken over the past three years to restore fiscal integrity to the budget process include:

Three budgets that held state spending to 2 percent or below;

• The elimination of automatic inflators that previously accounted for unsustainable increases in Medicaid and education spending;

• Tier VI pension reform that will save taxpayers an estimated $80 billion over the next thirty years;

• A state labor force reduced from 137,000 to 120,000;

• Three responsible state labor contracts that will save taxpayers $450 million.

Building on these fiscal reforms, the governor is charging the Tax Relief Commission with identifying new strategies to deliver tax relief to homeowners, renters, and businesses alike. The Tax Relief Commission’s recommendations may include additional property tax relief, business tax relief proposals to encourage job creation and economic growth, as well as other ideas to reduce the tax burden on families and businesses that will make New York State more competitive with other states.

The governor’s actions recognize that New York has been viewed as a high tax state for too many years, hurting the state’s competitiveness and driving businesses and families from the state.

The members of the Tax Relief Commission include:

George Pataki, former Governor of New York State

Carl McCall, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees

Dall Forsythe, former New York State Budget Director

Jim Wetzler, Director, Deloite Tax LLP and former New York State Tax Commissioner

Heather Briccetti, President & CEO of New York State Business Council

Bill Rudin, CEO Rudin Management, President of the Association for Better New York

Jack Quinn, President of Erie Community College

Denis M. Hughes, Senior Advisor at Brown & Weinraub, PLLC