State Senate Republicans unveiled a sweeping middle-class income- tax-cut plan Wednesday that could be a bargaining chip as Gov. Cuomo pushes to boost the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The proposed $3.5 billion cut would be phased in from 2018 through 2025 and save taxpayers an average of $897 each over seven years when fully implemented.
The income-tax rate for middle-income New Yorkers would be slashed to 5.14 percent from a maximum 6.85 percent.
There’s also a $250 million election-year tax sweetener for senior citizens.
They’d be allowed to exempt as much as $40,000 of retirement income annually from the tax man by 2019, up from $20,000 today.
And in another bonus for taxpayers, the utility-tax surcharge implemented in 2009 to grapple with the recession would be eliminated by the end of this year.
That would save consumers about $125 million annually.
The plan represents the GOP’s opening hand as it negotiates a 2016-2017 budget with Cuomo and the Democratic-run state Assembly, which is not expected to embrace it, even if it’s applauded by taxpayers.
But as often happens in Albany, there could be room for negotiation, political observers say.
Cuomo’s top two priorities this year are gradually raising the state minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour by 2021 and enacting a paid-family-leave program.
“Republicans are listening to the people of New York who know that high taxes inhibit economic growth and make it more difficult for families to make ends meet,” said Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk).
“This bold plan will put more money back into the wallets of hardworking taxpayers and make our state a more affordable place to live and work.”
Cuomo’s office said he would review the proposal, seizing the chance to portray himself as a tax-cutter.
By Carl Campanile
March 9, 2016 | 3:01pm