DECEMBER 1998Senator Bruno unveils major plan for further business tax cuts
Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno announced his conference's tax-reduction proposals for 1999, with total value to taxpayers of $795 million. The Senate Majority plan includes key elements of The Business Council's proposals for the next steps in making New York's business taxes competitive.
Major elements of Senator Bruno's plan are:
- Reducing the tax rates on banks and insurance companies from 9 to 7.5 percent, to maintain parity with the corporate tax rate and save taxpayers some $165 million. Senator Bruno initiated the 1998 legislation that will reduce the corporate rate to 7.5 percent over the next four years.
- Cutting the gross receipts tax on utility customers' bills another half-percentage point. The GRT is already being cut 1 percent, starting in October 1998 and reaching full implementation in 2000. The additional tax cut would take effect in 2001, returning $225 million to taxpayers. Senator Bruno said: "While we are currently reducing the GRT and we are entering a new period of utility deregulation and competition, we must lower energy costs even further for all ratepayers."
- Averting unlegislated tax increases on energy utilities that would take effect due to the state-mandated restructuring of utility companies.
Other elements of interest to businesses include a state tax exemption for medical savings accounts, and elimination of the petroleum business tax on airline fuel.
Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh hailed the announcement.
"Once again, Senator Bruno is leading the way in cutting taxes on New York employers," Walsh said. "The tax cuts that Governor Pataki, the Senate and the Assembly have enacted in the last four years have resulted in tens of thousands of new jobs for New Yorkers. The Senate Majority's new package will produce thousands more.
"Senator Bruno has a strong record of turning good proposals into good laws," Walsh added. "Today's proposal is a wonderful present for New York State's economy. The business community will strongly support its enactment into law in the coming session."
The largest element of the Senate Majority plan would give families a full state tax deduction for college tuition expenses, the first such plan in any state, with a total value of $275 million.
"Enacting the Family College Tuition Deduction will be the Senate's top priority in the coming session," Senator Bruno said.
December 23, 1998