On Dec. 6, 2011, Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a deal to extend New York’s biggest income tax increase in 50 years, targeting earners of $1 million and more for what will be the third highest income tax rate imposed by any major state. About one quarter of the $2.6 billion tax hike will be redistributed in the form of tax cuts for middle-class filers, and the rest will be spent. This page, which will be continuously updated, features Empire Center commentary and analysis on this topic.

NY Torch Blog

Op-Eds & Other Articles

  • Tax-hike cheers: NY biz’s big bungle — New York Post — Dec. 12, 2011 – So Gov. Cuomo hikes the state’s top marginal-income-tax rate by 29 percent for three years, and the city’s business community says it’s terrific. Huh?
  • Spend, spend, spend — New York Post — Dec. 11, 2011 – Forget all the spin about “reform,” “fairness” and “job creation” emanating from Albany during last week’s lightning-fast special session of the New York State Legislature. The deal ultimately was all about spending.
  • More Revenue, More Spending — New York Times, Room for Debate — Dec. 9, 2011 – This week’s flash tax deal in Albany will hurt the state’s long-term economic prospects and put the state government’s finances on an even more precarious footing.
  • Andrew’s lip service — New York Post — Dec. 4, 2011 – Few Albany policy fights in recent memory have generated more heat and less light than the dispute over whether to extend higher state income-tax rates on high-income households. Now Gov. Cuomo has blown a cloud of smoke into the mix.
  • Cuomo’s Big Stall — New York Post — Nov. 10, 2011 – New York state’s mid-year financial plan update was due on Oct. 31, and state agency heads were scheduled to present their budget requests at hearings last week. But Gov. Cuomo has taken the unusual step of delaying the mid-year report and postponing the agency budget hearings until further notice.
  • Testing Cuomo – National Review Online – Nov. 10, 2011 – Governor Cuomo faces daunting challenges that will make his second year much tougher than his first, testing his oft-stated commitment to holding down taxes and taming unsustainable growth in New York’s public-sector spending.
  • The Many Myths of the Millionaire Tax – New York Post – Oct. 12, 2011 – If there’s one thing the Occupy Wall Street crowd agrees on, it’s that New York should expand its “millionaire tax” on high-income earners. But the soak-the-rich platform is built on factual distortions and a partisan rewrite of history — as two state lawmakers who support that agenda have just demonstrated.
  • Empire of Excess – City Journal, Winter 2010 – After allowing for federal deductibility, the effective state income-tax rate is actually higher now than it was 35 years ago. And current tax trends in Washington will push New York’s net income-tax cost—the difference between earning income here and in a no-tax state such as Florida or Texas—further beyond 1970s levels, even if the higher state rate expires on schedule in two years.

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About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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