Cuomo leaves details of proposed middle-class tax breaks for later
Saturday, January 11, 2014 - 4:21 pm

Wednesday’s State of the State address promised tax breaks for the middle class, but details on the exemptions and credits, which will be tied to property tax caps, are vague.

Following up on his push to reduce property taxes and cut the number of small government entities, Cuomo is proposing an incentive to be implemented over two years.

In the first year the plan would offer relief to taxpayers within municipalities that stay with in the state’s 2 percent property tax cap. How much relief it would provide, or what formula would be used to determine the credit was not clear.

In the second year tax breaks would be given to property owners in municipalities that “take concrete steps to share services and reduce costs to remain under the freeze.”

Exactly what that means was not included in the governor’s release, but it could be difficult for municipalities that are already sharing services to do.

St. Lawrence County Legislative Chairman Jonathon Putney, who represents the Waddington area, said he isn’t familiar enough with details to discuss the proposals yet, but is pleased at the idea tax relief.

“It’s something we are going to be looking at as details become available.” He said.

Another tax break proposed by the Cuomo would offer help to low and middle income taxpayers whose property rate, relative to their income, exceeds their income tax rate.

A news release from the governor says it would provide “tax relief based on ability to pay for households that earn up to $200,000, ultimately providing $1 billion in tax relief by the time the circuit breaker is fully phased in.”

However this tax break may also be exclusive to municipalities that stay under the state’s proposed property tax cap.

“While the credit would be available statewide, in areas outside of New York City, only residents of jurisdictions that adhere to the property tax cap would qualify,” the release says.

The proposed tax breaks were widely supported by the North Country’s state legislators, though some called for even more tax relief.

Details on the proposals should be revealed when the governor submits his budget proposal on Jan. 21.

For more on the governor’s proposed tax reforms visit www.governor.ny.gov/press/01062014-tad-relief-proposal.