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Tax Committee Update
August 2, 2012

End of Session Review

New York's 2012 regular legislation session was an uneventful one from a tax policy perspective with little in the way of new, expanded or increased taxes and fees, and relatively little in terms of reform. Outside the context of the state budget process, which saw limited changes (summarized here), the state legislature gave final approval to more than 70 separate tax law changes, including several of general interest to Business Council members. However, most of these bills were fairly limited in applicability and/or impact, with nearly half of all two-house tax bills being taxpayer- or parcel-specific legislation, and more than a dozen others were extensions of existing local tax provisions. Our summary of all non-budget tax law changes receiving two house approval so far in 2012 is available here. I look forward to any comments or questions you have on these issues. As discussed in our end of session update, there is nothing new to report on the pending gubernatorial commission on tax reform and fairness. 

Public Input on Advisory Opinions

At the request of several of the Department's Taxpayer Advisory Council members, the Department has been exploring a mechanism by which the Department can receive and review comments from external stakeholders on pending Advisory Opinions. As a result, the Department will now post brief descriptions of  issues pending Advisory Opinions on its website as it receives them. Each "Issue" allows for a period of time for interested parties to submit comments for review and consideration by Department staff in drafting an Advisory Opinion. Comments can be submitted either through an email link on the following web site, or by mail. For more information and to review pending Advisory Opinions, and to submit comments, see:
www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/advisory_opinions/pending_ao_issues.htm

Tribunal Regulatory Reform Efforts

We have been contacted by staff of the New York State Division of Tax Appeals (i.e., Tax Tribunal) for input on updating and streamlining Tribunal regulations, with a focus on its stipulation process. The Tribunal's rules of practice are available online here. I would be interested in hearing from Tax Committee members interested in either sitting on a Tribunal work group, or providing input that we can submit to the Tribunal.