Cuomo Proposes Sweeping Tax Relief Proposal

In December, a high-profile panel issued a set of recommendations for reining in the state's high property and business taxes. The group, led by former Governor George Pataki, identified some $2 billion worth of proposed tax cuts, half of it earmarked for property-tax relief for homeowners in suburban New York City and more rural upstate New York. The plan offered virtually nothing to New York City itself because the city doesn't have a property tax cap, making its residents ineligible for a temporary freeze on taxes under the proposal, which was embraced by current Governor Andrew Cuomo.

On Jan. 6, Governor Cuomo announced a $2 billion tax relief proposal, a catchall of cuts for property and business owners, renters, and upstate manufacturers. It largely mirrors the panel’s recommendations but, most notably, the proposal now includes a tax credit for renters. This personal income tax credit for renters would be worth an estimated $400 million for an estimated 2.6 million renters around the state. The renters tax credit would apply to renters with incomes below $100,000 whose rent exceeds a certain percentage of their total income. According to Cuomo, this would aid 1.7 million people in New York City.

Governor Cuomo said the state would be able to pay for the tax cuts because his administration was tightly controlling increases in spending and expected growing surpluses in coming years. The plan would be phased in over three years.