Akshar, O’Mara and GOP: Cuomo’s tax increases are ‘outrageous’ amid COVID


As the New York State Budget picture begins to emerge, Sen. Fred Akshar, 52nd District, and fellow members of the Senate Republican Conference, have sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins urging her and the Democratic Conference to reject a proposed tax hike on middle-class New Yorkers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

After years of phasing in the historic, Senate Republican-authored middle-class tax cut — which has delivered hundreds of millions of dollars in relief to millions of taxpayers since its enactment — Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week reversed course in his Executive Budget address with a plan to balance the multi-billion dollar deficit on the backs of hardworking New Yorkers.

“New York State’s One-Party Rule has a shameful record when it comes to putting politics before the needs of everyday New Yorkers, but forcing our middle-class taxpayers to help balance a $15 billion deficit while increasing state spending by billions of dollars and continuing the $420 million tax credit for Hollywood producers is just plain absurd. Senate Democrat leadership must listen to reason and join us in fighting for middle-class families rather than Hollywood production companies,” said Akshar.

“It’s outrageous that Governor Cuomo calls on middle-class taxpayers to give up long-overdue tax relief, that was negotiated and bargained for by Senate Republicans three years ago in a package to reduce taxes in New York State, so that he can go ahead and increase state spending by billions of dollars. This move shows just how committed the governor is to not helping the middle-class of New York State,” said Sen. Tom O’Mara, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.

The historic middle-class tax cut, which was enacted with strong bipartisan support, took effect in 2018. One of the largest tax cuts in state history, the Senate Republican-authored plan would reduce middle-class tax rates by 20 percent and provide $4.2 million in annual savings for more than six million middle-class taxpayers and small businesses when fully phased in. Cuomo’s current budget plan includes a misguided proposal to delay the middle-class tax cuts this year.

Cuomo’s plan to raise taxes on the already-overstressed and rapidly-shrinking New York middle-class comes as the state annually continues to rank among the worst of all 50 states in overall tax climate. New York State also consistently leads all 50 states in outmigration precisely because of its taxing problem. The letter and announcement comes after Senate Republicans earlier this month unveiled their bold vision to Reset New York. Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins herself said we have an “opportunity to reset,” a clear indication that New York is on the wrong path with regards to tax policy in the state.