February 29, 2000
Senator Bruno unveils a new $1.7 billion tax-cut proposal; Plan includes repeal of energy GRT, other key business cuts, and a $1,000 PIT exemption
Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno today proposed new tax cuts worth $1.7 billion. His package includes repeal of the state's gross receipts tax (GRT) on energy, other key business-tax cuts, and a new $1,000 exemption on personal income tax for all taxpayers.
Nearly $1.2 billion of the plan targets individuals and families, Bruno said. At the same time, the plan addresses several tax-cut priorities of the business community, including:
- Repeal of the energy GRT (with annual taxpayer savings of some $500 million).
- A change in how sales in the securities industry are allocated for tax purposes from the address of the firm to the address of the customer ($35 million).
- Creation of a sales-tax exemption for investments in high-tech telecommunications equipment ($55 million).
- Elimination of the ton-mileage portion of the highway use tax ($65 million).
- A tax-rate reduction for small businesses from 7.5 percent to 6.85 percent ($40 million).
Bruno urged returning $375 million a year to taxpayers by restoring over four years a $1,000 personal income tax exemption that New York eliminated in 1987. New York is one of only three states that does not let taxpayers exempt $1,000 of income for state income taxes, he said.
He also proposed: increasing the state's earned income tax credit for the working poor; expanding income eligibility for the child-care tax credit; an IRA-like account for first-home purchases; new tax credits for long-term care insurance and alternative energy; a deduction for college tuition; and support for three tax credits proposed by the Governor in his plan for the upstate economy.
Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh hailed the plan, saying: "Senator Bruno's leap-year proposal could mean a giant leap forward for New York's economy."
Senator Bruno's tax-cut proposal came after he and other legislative leaders said Monday that the Governor's proposed budget underestimates state revenues that will be available this year.
The Republican Senate majority said that $940 million will come into state coffers this year that is not in the Governor's budget. The Democratic Assembly majority said the Governor underestimated revenues by at least $1.15 billion.
The Governor's budget proposed nearly $78 billion in spending. The Democratic Senate Minority and the Republican Assembly minority said the Governor underestimated available funds by $440 million and $608 million, respectively.
Lawmakers each year are supposed to agree on available revenues by March 10 and agree on a budget by April 1, when the state's fiscal year begins.