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For Release — March 13, 2009

Business Council opposes personal income tax hike in budget testimony

ALBANY— “Any permanent increase in the state's broad-based taxes during an economic recession is bad economic policy, and a bad message to send to current business and investors considering projects in New York State,” said Ken Pokalsky, senior director of government affairs at The Business Council of New York State.

Pokalsky's remarks came in testimony to the State Senate Select Committee on Budget and Tax Reform. He stated The Business Council's opposition to bills S.2021/A.5912 which would permanently increase the tax rates on New Yorkers earning more than $250,000. He pointed out that the $6 billion tax increase that would result from this legislation would not only hit individual taxpayers, but small business owners that pay taxes on their business income under the personal income tax system as Subchapter S corporations.

“The top 3 percent of taxpayers in New York – those above $200,000 - pay 55 percent of all personal income taxes. The top 25 percent of taxpayers, by income, account for more than 89 percent of all personal income tax liability,” said Pokalsky. “In short, taxpayers with progressively higher rates of income pay a progressively higher share of their income in state personal income taxes, i.e., a progressive income tax.”

The Business Council testimony called for the legislature to look at spending restraint before increasing taxes. The complete testimony is available here.

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