Commentary

Gov. Andrew Cuomo began 2018 the way he ended 2017: demonizing Washington Republicans and fulminating against the newly enacted federal tax reform, especially its $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Two weeks after his State of the State message, Cuomo devoted a portion of his fiscal 2019 budget presentation to the same subject, pledging again to come up with a plan to restructure the code by shifting from an employee-paid to an employer-paid income-tax system. Read More

The governor said he’d explore the feasiblity of “a major shift” of New York’s state tax burden from individuals (who will be losing federal deductions) to businesses (which will be keeping them), via a new statewide payroll tax on employers. The idea might sound plausible on the surface. But on closer inspection, replacing even part of New York’s personal income tax (PIT) with a payroll tax would be fraught with mind-bending complications — and not very feasible at all. Read More

Plenty of unintended consequences, positive and negative, will be lurking in the fine print of the tax-reform bill unveiled Thursday by House Republicans. But it’s already clear the plan would clobber Albany’s favorite cash cow: the seven-figure earners who generate more than 40 percent of the state income tax. Read More

New York pols need to recognize that it's in their own interest to pay more attention to these commuters, if only to keep their tax payments flowing smoothly. At the very least, that means giving a higher priority to infrastructure improvements that benefit taxpayers on both sides of the Hudson. Read More

President Trump last week suggested that economically struggling upstate New York residents should be willing to move to areas with better job prospects. This wasn’t exactly an original or outrageous idea — yet it still managed to ruffle feathers among defensive New York officials. Read More

Over the past three years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reaped an unprecedented windfall of more than $10 billion in fines and penalties paid by major financial institutions for violating various state and federal banking laws. Coming virtually out of the blue, the windfall represented a unique opportunity to get ahead of the state’s most pressing problems — including but not limited to those of the transit system. It’s an opportunity Cuomo has mostly squandered. Read More