New York’s Tax Rankings Are A National Embarrassment

New Yorkers deserve a state in which they can afford to live, work and raise a family. In order to do that, we must transform the state’s tax climate. Across the state small businesses are struggling. Residents are fleeing in droves. State mandates imposed on school districts and local governments continue to drive up local property taxes. Waiting any longer to reduce the cost of living and change the culture in New York may prove fatal— it’s much harder to convince people to come back than it is to keep them here in the first place.
 
TAX FREEDOM DAY IN NY LAGS BEHIND MOST STATES
 
Hard-working New Yorkers will finally pay off their tax obligation on May 11, the state’s “Tax Freedom Day.” Only two other states take longer— New Jersey and Connecticut— to reach this symbolic milestone, according to the Tax Foundation. Nationally, Tax Freedom Day was April 24, putting New York on the wrong side of the average by more than two weeks. Further, the Tax Foundation also released data showing New York’s state and local individual income tax collections per person in 2013 were $2,550, which ranked the highest in the nation.
 
These rankings are nothing new, as New York has consistently scored terribly in tax and business climate rankings for years. Each year, we hear rhetoric about New York being “open for business,” yet if we are going to provide real relief to taxpayers, we must eliminate the root problem. I continue to advocate for legislation that gets at the heart of New York’s tax problem and urge the Legislature to use the next few months of session to address the problem.
 
The Small Business Full Employment Act (A.5898-A) aims to improve the state’s poor economic climate with an array of provisions. It includes measures to:

  • Reduce the Corporate Franchise Tax Rate from 6.5 percent to 4 percent for qualifying small business;
  • Provide small businesses with up to 100 employees up to a $5,000 tax credit against the Personal Income Tax and Corporate Franchise Tax if they maintain their current employment level for one year; and
  • Expand the current Personal Income Tax exemption from 3 percent to 15 percent for qualifying small businesses. 

I have also introduced “SHOP NY,” (A.5216) which would eliminate: 

  • State sales tax on gas (8 cents/gallon);
  • State sales tax on car seats;
  • State sales tax on protective helmets required by law; and
  • State sales tax on household cleaning and personal hygiene products, including baby diapers, soap, and toothpaste; each with local options.

Albany must be committed to changing the status quo and give the families, small-business owners and residents of New York the support they deserve. Hard-working New Yorkers should not be forced to watch their money being syphoned away by an inefficient and wasteful government. Without significant strides in the very near future, New Yorkers will take it upon themselves to lower state tax collections by leaving for a place where they are treated fairly.
 
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@assembly.state.ny.us, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.

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