State Taxes: They Can’t Get Any Worse

Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a new tax-relief commission that will look at a host of taxes, including business taxes, and ways to simplify the state’s tax code.

One of the main priorities for the commission is address the property tax burden in New York.

“From a tax point of view, the No. 1 priority is to do more on property taxes,” Cuomo said recently. “We already passed a 2 percent cap on property taxes. We now want to do even more.”

However, it should be noted that another commission – under Cuomo’s orders – has spent the last 10 months coming up with ways to simplify the tax code and was ordered to create “revenue-neutral” recommendations.

While it seems strange and redundant to have two commissions, if their recommendations were to get serious consideration in Albany, we’d support a hundred of them.

Make no mistake, tax relief is needed. Last week, the Washington-based Tax Foundation revealed, in its State Business Tax Climate Index, it ranked New York’s business tax climate 50th – dead last.

While the list – from a conservative think tank – may seem like an exercise in bashing states run primarily by Democrats, both the states of Washington (No. 6) and Oregon (No. 12) scored well. Massachusetts came in at No. 25.

The worst thing that could happen is for legitimate tax relief to get roadblocked by partisan bickering. Politicians and voters should keep an open mind when the commissions issue their recommendations, and not automatically reject a proposal because of who is supporting it.

State residents should remember: Tax relief that does not kill services required by the public will help everyone.

While the Tax Foundation’s ranking may not be something for New Yorkers to brag about, it does provide a silver lining: There is nowhere for New York state to go but up.