Assemblyman Fitzpatrick Calls For Tax Cuts Before Session Ends

June 20, 2006

To improve New York’s economy, create job growth and ease the tax burden on seniors and families, Assemblyman Michael J. Fitzpatrick (R,C,I-Smithtown) today joined his minority colleagues to propose the Assembly pass five key tax cuts before the legislative session ends.

“New York is the highest-taxed state in the nation. We’re 53 percent above the national average,” said Fitzpatrick. “The negative effects of our high taxes can be seen throughout the state like a ripple effect, starting in Albany and spreading out to all corners of the state. In the wake of these ripples, New York has been left with fewer jobs, the highest migration rate in the country and a stagnant economy.”

The minority-sponsored tax cuts include a $400 million personal income tax reduction that would be realized by increasing the top income tax bracket, which currently is reached by married couples filing joint returns with incomes of $40,000 or higher. That number would rise to $60,000 and the income tax would drop from 6.85 percent to 6.75 percent under the legislation.

The legislation would also provide $1.75 billion in additional tax relief by indexing the Basic and Enhanced School Tax Relief (STAR) exemptions to the current median housing values throughout the state. The minority assembly members also want to establish a Co-STAR program to provide $285 million in property tax reductions for senior citizens and farmers.

The legislative package also eliminates the corporate franchise tax on manufacturers, saving these business owners and operators more than $500 million annually. Another provision offers tax credits equal to 15 percent of the cost of health insurance paid by small-business owners, thus saving businesses $1.6 billion while providing quality health care for thousands of workers.

“These tax cuts would be another step toward making New York state a place where families and businesses can thrive,” remarked Fitzpatrick. “We must continue to shrink New York’s onerous tax burden if we hope to be a state that can compete in the 21st century economy.”

Assemblyman Fitzpatrick pledged to continue his fight for Long Island taxpayers by making the tax-cut package his top priority before the last scheduled session day on Thursday.

“It is simple economics: lower taxes lead to economic growth, creation of jobs, increases in the tax base and an overall improved quality of life. Only fools or those who do not believe in capitalism want New York to continue down the path of high taxes or the road to serfdom,” added Fitzpatrick.