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NY Leaders Say U.S. Senate Tax Bill Even Worse For State

U.S. Capitol Building
Stacy | Flickr
U.S. Capitol Building

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a tax overhaul plan that some state leaders say will harm New York. Eyes are now on the Senate, where a vote is expected after Thanksgiving.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Chuck Schumer and other top state Democrats say the Senate plan is potentially even worse for New York. The House plan ends the deduction for state and local income taxes, but allows the deduction of property taxes up to $10,000 a year. The Senate bill omits even that limited deduction. Cuomo says New Yorkers will pay more to finance the main portion of the tax overhaul, the reduction in taxes on large companies.

“They're using New York as a piggy bank to finance the corporate tax cut. It's disgusting. It's reprehensible,” Cuomo said. “I only pray that the Senate can stop it.”

New York’s Congressional representatives who voted for the tax overhaul say the problem isn’t eliminating the deduction. They say the real issue is that New York has among the highest state and local property taxes in the nation.

The Senate bill also includes a provision to repeal the Affordable Care Act mandate that Americans buy health insurance, or face a penalty on their taxes.

Jessica Wisneski, with Citizen Action, is among progressive groups opposing the provision. She calls the repeal of the mandate a “poison pill”.

“We want to keep health care whole in our country,” Wisneski said.

The Obamacare provision will likely make it harder for the Senate to pass the tax measure, because there’s a risk that some key GOP senators might not go along with it.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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