NY May Scrap its Income Tax for a Payroll Tax

January 9, 2018. According to this article, New York may end its income tax and instead expand its payroll tax as a way to outmaneuver the new federal law that limits deductions for state and local taxes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday during his State of the State address that he is exploring how to make the complicated switch, joining other high-tax states in considering how to protect residents’ tax deductions and state revenue. California and New Jersey leaders have also discussed similar steps, such as programs to allow people to pay charitable contributions to their state governments, rather than pay income taxes.

“Any plan would need to ensure lower- and middle-income New Yorkers aren’t hurt, said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, a labor-backed group in Albany. “Looking at the swap between payroll and income taxes is interesting.” Deutsch said. “But it is potentially fraught with some pitfalls that would need to be addressed. We would need to make sure it is fair and equitable.”

Access full article HERE

Trump Is ‘Stealing’ Benefits From Elderly Immigrants He’s Expelling From the United States

January 9, 2018. This article is about immigrants who are recipients of Temporary Protective Status (TPS), many who are elderly, that have worked hard and paid their taxes and contributed to social security. The article goes on to discuss how Trump has ended TPS for El Salvador and these recipients face deportation. Honduras and Haiti are still under consideration. The author cites a study by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) that shows that deporting TPS recipients from Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti would have detrimental effects on the economy. These include costing taxpayers $3.1 billion dollars, and long term effects such as a $6.9 billion reduction to Social Security and Medicare and a $45.2 billion reduction in GDP over a decade. TPS recipients are concerned that they will not receive the benefits that they have paid for. However, the article goes on to discuss how under demanding conditions they may be able to access them.

Little is known about the specific demographic makeup of the nearly 200,000 TPS recipients from El Salvador, but Yanez said many of his friends are like him: elderly TPS recipients who are still working and have been paying taxes in the United States for decades. As they gear up for the possibility of mass deportations of TPS recipients, Yanez said he and his friends are having lots of conversations about being forced to return to their countries of origin, and whether or not they will be able to access the benefits owed to them.

David Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative, told Rewire that the tax contributions of TPS recipients have been “the tip of the iceberg.” They have made their biggest contribution to the economy as workers, and in many instances, job creators. The Journal on Migration and Human Security reported that 11 percent of TPS recipients from El Salvador, Haiti, and Honduras are self-employed, having created jobs for themselves and others.

“As TPS ends and people are forced to leave or they are deported, accessing their benefits isn’t really straightforward. They have paid into Medicare, that they presumably will not get. When it comes to Social Security, I think it’s a very complicated question that requires individuals to consult with tax advisers and immigration attorneys,” Kallick.

Here is the link to Rewire.

People’s State of the State Address Held in Albany

January 3, 2018. ALBANY – Ahead of the governor’s State of the State, the people held their State of the State on Tuesday. The 29th annual rally was held at the State Street entrance to the Capitol in Albany.

Organizers say they’re worried about the new federal tax plan and massive budget cuts which could be on the horizon for the neediest New Yorkers. Organizations at Tuesday’s rally say the governor and state lawmakers need to take action to protect those in need from federal cuts.


Access to news clip HERE.

Lawmakers Look ahead to State of the State

January 3, 2018. CBS6 News: As lawmakers return to the Capitol this year, they face fiscal challenges, including a state budget deficit of more than $4 billion.

Wednesday, Gov. Cuomo delivers his State of the State Address, which will outline some of his priorities. CBS6’s Heather Kovar spoke with lawmakers Tuesday, and they say this is going to be a challenging year.


Access to news clip HERE.

Advocates Propose Capturing Part of Fed’s Corporate Tax Cut

January 3, 2018. In Albany on Tuesday, advocates for the needy proposed a “recapture tax” in which the state would keep some of the federal tax breaks headed to corporations. The advocates said the recapture tax could help make up for expected federal cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and other programs proposed for later this year that would worsen the plight of the working poor in New York. Congressional leaders and President Donald Trump said they would consider cutting the entitlement programs in part to reduce costs and help pay for the corporate tax cut adopted in December.

The 29th annual “people’s state of the state address” was held Tuesday in 14-degree-temperatures outside the Capitol. Advocates sought to present issues such as the need to increase funding to overburdened food pantries, the need for a higher minimum wage and the need to bolster health care following the federal tax law that will allow people to opt out of Obamacare without paying a penalty.

“Corporations are going to see a huge windfall,” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute. “Corporations have been sitting on a mountain of cash.”


Access to full article HERE.

29th Annual People’s State of the State

January 3, 2018. From the Capital Tonight Staff, state and local advocates rallied outside the Capitol on Monday for the annual “People’s State of the State.” This is its 29th year. Groups gather to discuss what they want lawmakers to consider for the upcoming session. It happens the day before the governor presents his state of the state address. Susan Zimet from the Hunger Action Network and Ron Deutsch from the Fiscal Policy Institute join us to talk more about it.


Access to Video HERE.

Cuomo Delivers Eighth State of the State Address Wednesday

January 3, 2018. Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State address on Wednesday, kicking off a challenging year of budget deficits and re-election races. This article states that the governor fought unsuccessfully to reverse the elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes, which harms some middle-class and wealthy taxpayers in the state. Cuomo, speaking on CNN over the holidays, said he’ll announce in his State of the State a plan to re-engineer the state’s tax code to try to mitigate the effects.

The article goes on to explain that New York, New Jersey and California are among states considering back-door ways to restore the deductions. One proposal would convert state income taxes to a payroll tax on employers, which is still deductible. Another would reclassify state income taxes as charitable contributions to state government, allowing taxpayers to then claim the payments as deductions on their federal income taxes.

“Ron Deutsch with Fiscal Policy Institute, a union-affiliated economic think tank, said the ideas do seem a bit far-fetched, but he said states with higher local taxes may have to get creative to prevent being harmed by the new tax changes.” “I don’t think there are any crazy ideas at this point,” Deutsch said. “There are just ideas that need to be trotted out and tested.” Deutsch said New York already pays $48 billion more to the federal government each year than it gets back.”

Access to full article HERE

People’s State of the State

January 3, 2018. On Tuesday, activists held the “People’s State of the State” to outline their priorities on the state and federal levels. The Capitol Pressroom previewed the event with Susan Zimet, Executive Director of the Hunger Action Network of New York State, and Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Access to Podcast HERE.

As Legislative Session Starts, Sides Square off on Taxing the Rich

January 3, 2018. The two sides of what will likely be an overarching debate during the 2018 legislative session were on display Tuesday with progressives calling for an increased millionaires’ tax and conservatives saying that existing taxes should be phased out as scheduled to prevent a further exodus of Empire State residents.

We should be looking at a new top rate for the billionaires or those making $100 million, According to Ron Deutsch, executive director of the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute.

He was among the speakers at the 29th annual “People’s State of the State” gathering outside the Capitol when an array of progressive groups laid out their wish list for the coming year.

Players on both sides, for instance, believe the money being spent on economic development might be better used for balancing the budget.

There’s money there that we can redirect,” Deutsch said of the grants and tax cuts being offered to lure business to New York.


Access to full article HERE.


Progressives Unspool Counter-Programming to Cuomo’s Speech

January 23, 2018. In Albany on Tuesday,  a slew of progressive groups stood on the steps of the Capitol to hold a prebuttal to Wednesday’s State of the State address and called for an increase in taxes to fund more social service programs. About two dozen people attended the People’s State of the State Address, holding signs that called for taxes on the rich and giving speeches about mass incarceration and the increasing lines at food pantries.

Ron Deutsch, executive director of the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute think tank, said he wants Cuomo to push for a “recapture tax” that would go after “some of the windfall that many of the corporations and wealthy will reap” from the just-passed $1.5 trillion federal tax bill. The money would be used to offset what Deutsch and others warned are coming cuts to social service programs and to help the state overcome a deficit.

“We’re facing about a $4 billion budget gap this year, so we know funding is going to be tight,” Deutsch said.


Access full article HERE.