Lawmakers At Odds With Cuomo On Shortfall

Andy Goodell

Chautauqua County’s two local representatives in the state Legislature disagree with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s reasons there is a $2.3 billion revenue shortfall in the 2019-20 budget.

On Monday, Cuomo said the year-old federal law capping a deduction for state and local taxes — known as SALT — at $10,000 is the culprit for a projected $2.3 billion deficit.

“We’ve set up reserves, but this is worse than we had anticipated,” Cuomo said after referring to the fiscal situation as being “as serious as a heart attack.”

However, Republicans in the state Legislature, like Assemblyman Andy Goodell and Sen. Cathy Young, said New York’s high taxes were already prompting people to move to other states before the federal tax reforms kicked in.

“New York has been losing residents to lower-tax states for years. Last year, it lost more residents than any other state in the country,” Young told The Post-Journal in a news release. “While SALT may have had a small impact on the $2.3 billion revenue shortfall, the state’s high tax burden and struggling upstate economy are more likely culprits. That is why (state) Senate Republicans have been pushing for cuts in property and income taxes for several years.”

Cathy Young

Young said while state officials were successful in enacting the historic middle-class tax cut that will bring rates to their lowest level in 70 years, the overall tax environment in our state still needs to be improved.

“I will continue to make that argument and push for more action in this area,” she said. “Unless we address that problem, we will continue to see residents and businesses — and the revenues they generate — flee New York for more tax friendly states.”

Goodell agreed with Young telling The Post-Journal the solution for the state is to reduce taxes for everyone, including the rich so that New York residents can keep more of their own money to spend in their local economy

“My recommendation to my colleagues from New York City is to stop giving away free tuition to illegal immigrant and those who are no longer New York residents,” he said. “Instead use the money from these giveway programs to give money back to taxpayers who worked hard to earn the money in the first place.”

Goodell said on the federal level people have seen what happens when you cut taxes, with tax revenues increasing by 2 percent in 2018 following the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

“The tax cut stimulated the private sector economy, which produced more positive economic activity that generated additional tax revenues,” Goodell said. “When the taxes were cut during President (Ronald) Reagan’s term the tax revenues also went up. So New York has not learned that lesson. New York raised taxes and tax revenues went down. Maybe we should try a different approach that has been proven to work. Cut taxes to generate more tax revenues by increasing economic development.”