Assemblywoman Sandy Galef Cuts Income Taxes, Reduces MTA Payroll Tax and Stimulates Jobs

Historic tax relief for 99 percent of New Yorkers will benefit all
December 12, 2011

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef announced the passage in both houses of the New York State Legislature of progressive tax code reforms that will reduce tax rates for 99 percent of New Yorkers. These bills, signed by the governor, were a significant advance for the legislature at a time when the state was facing looming budget shortfalls.

The new tax code will raise nearly $6 billion in revenue over the next three years, which will be used to restore crucial funding for schools and healthcare, create jobs and pay down the budget deficit.

“This bill is the first restructuring of the tax code in decades, and the result is a victory for middle-class and working families,” Assemblywoman Galef said.

Under the new tax code, rates for 4.4 million people will be reduced, resulting in a tax cut of $690 million for middle-class and working families. The agreement delivers an unprecedented level of fairness to the tax code. It also establishes a commission to review and make suggestions for improving the state’s tax system even further.

Along with this tax cut for middle-class and working families, the new tax will help fund job-creating initiatives like infrastructure projects. The bill calls for utilizing “design-build” as a procurement method to ensure that one entity designs and completes a project. This will streamline construction in the state.

Other new legislation enacted last week offers a significant change to the MTA payroll tax. The payroll tax reduction will impact all public schools, which will no longer have to wait to be reimbursed by the state, as well as private and parochial schools. Furthermore, the tax has been significantly rolled back and permanently eliminated for qualifying small businesses with annual payrolls of $1.25 million or less per year. The MTA payroll tax will also be eliminated for those self-employed earning less than $50,000 per year

“Lifting this onerous and unfair financial burden,” said Galef, “will significantly improve the business climate in New York.”

The new legislation also offers grant money for victims of the most recent natural disasters to hit the state, $1 million earmarked for the Foreclosure Prevention Services Program, and tax relief for certain eligible New York manufacturers for the next three years.

“I think this was a great win for the State. I believe it will help spur the economy by drawing business, manufacturing, and homeowners back to New York and help keep in place those who are here now. I am pleased we were able to make these improvements for New Yorkers right before the holidays,” concluded Galef.