Assembly Overrides Governor’s Vetoes to Provide Tax Relief for Cortland and Tompkins Families

April 26, 2006

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D/WFP- Tompkins/Cortland) announced that the Legislature overrode the governor’s vetoes that would have denied New Yorkers millions in tax cuts.

“New York is one of the most heavily-taxed states in the nation, which is why the Legislature protected a property tax rebate for homeowners enrolled in the STAR and Enhanced STAR programs,” Lifton said. “The rebates will help ease the burden of high property tax bills. The kind of tax relief the governor vetoed is precisely what we need to preserve our communities and encourage families to stay in New York.”

Lifton noted that New York has a multi-billion dollar surplus of the taxpayers’ money. When the Legislature met in open conference committees, it came to a bipartisan agreement on a budget that would return the taxpayers’ money back to them through tax cuts, better services or increased local aid.

The Legislature’s bipartisan budget cuts taxes $1.6 billion this year, $2.5 billion next year, and rejects nearly $1 billion in tax increases the governor wanted to impose. But the governor wants to deny most of that tax relief to New York families.

The governor’s vetoes would also reject:

  • a child tax credit with a maximum benefit of $330 for each child between ages 4 and 17 for every family in the state, totaling $600 million in savings statewide; and
  • reducing the marriage penalty tax, which would save married couples $41 million annually when fully phased in.

“It’s important to note that the governor isn’t saying New York doesn’t need tax relief,” Lifton said. “In fact, his own budget proposal contained tax cuts skewed to the wealthiest New Yorkers, as well as a shortsighted education tax credit that denied relief to Cortland and Tompkins families. Rather, he’s based his vetoes on highly legalistic technicalities.”

“Even more incredibly, the governor tried to extend the sales tax on clothing and footwear,” Lifton added. “But when the Legislature, with the Assembly taking the lead, refused to pass the extension, the governor had the gall to take credit for the sales tax expiring. We must do everything we can to keep taxes down, and these overrides will let families keep more of their hard-earned money, and stop forcing them to move to more affordable places to live.”