N.Y. TAX REFORM AND FAIRNESS COMMISSION PRESENTS FINAL REPORT

     (The following press release from the New York State Governor's Office was 
received by e-mail and was reformatted. The sender verified the statement.) 
State of New York | Executive Chamber
Andrew M. Cuomo | Governor
For Immediate Release: November 14, 2013 
 NEW YORK STATE TAX REFORM AND FAIRNESS COMMISSION PRESENTS GOVERNOR CUOMO 
WITH FINAL REPORT 
Recommendations seek to make the tax code simpler, fairer, help reduce 
burdens for families and businesses, and create economic growth 
Today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was presented with the final report of the
New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission. The Commission report
outlines revenue neutral policy options to modernize the current tax system
with the goals of increasing its simplicity, fairness, economic
competitiveness and affordability. The report can be viewed here:
http://www.governor.ny.gov/assets/documents/greenislandandreportandappendicies.p
df
. 
“I want to thank Co-Chairs H. Carl McCall and Peter J. Solomon, the members
of the Commission, and all the people who provided input to this process,”
said Governor Cuomo. “Since being elected Governor, my administration has
focused on reversing New York’s negative tax reputation, further improving
our business climate and easing the burden on everyday taxpayers. Today’s
report represents another step in that direction as we seek to simplify New
York’s antiquated and unnecessarily onerous tax code, and to ease the tax
burden on families and businesses statewide.”? 
The New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission conducted a
comprehensive and objective review of the State's taxation policy,
considering ways to eliminate tax loopholes, promote administrative
efficiency and enhance tax collection and enforcement. 
The report outlines five revenue-neutral reform packages that will serve as
options for consideration. 
·  Modernize the sales tax while funding low- and middle-income tax 
relief and overall real property tax relief. The Commission asserts 
that there are better and more progressive ways to provide tax relief 
to low and moderate income New Yorkers through reforms of the current 
sales tax exemption structure. 
·  Modify the estate tax to relieve the burden on middle class families 
and small businesses by eliminating the tax on 73% of New Yorkers who 
would be required to pay it. The Commission asserts this tax is 
wrongly targeted at middle class taxpayers. 
·  Reform the State's corporate and bank franchise taxes for the first 
time in decades to better reflect how businesses operate in a 21st 
century economy. The Commission asserts that the State’s basic 
corporate franchise tax structure is badly outdated, unduly complex 
and vulnerable to aggressive tax avoidance techniques. Similarly 
situated taxpayers are treated differently, and in some instances the 
tax creates disincentives to increasing a corporation’s activities in 
New York. Business tax credits should be annually evaluated in a 
transparent way to ascertain their effectiveness. 
·  Review best practices of property tax administration in order to make 
the system fairer and more equitable for local governments, 
businesses and homeowners. New York’s system of property tax 
administration has been ranked among the lowest in the 50 states. The 
Commission asserts that current property tax administration lacks 
fairness and transparency, and represents a compliance burden for 
businesses. 
·  Simplify the administration of taxes to ease compliance for 
businesses and individuals in New York. The Commission asserts that 
many aspects of the tax code are unnecessarily burdensome, 
antiquated, or ripe for reform. For example, temporary vendors (e.g. 
Christmas tree sellers) must file sales tax returns on the same 
quarterly schedule as other retailers. These vendors could be allowed 
to file their sales tax returns immediately after their last sale. 
Nuisance taxes could also be repealed, such as an existing tax on 
limited categories of income that is currently collected from only 
200 taxpayers, generating just $200,000, annually. Other potential 
reforms would result in eliminating hundreds of thousands of people 
from the tax rolls. 
Co-Chair H. Carl McCall said, “I’d like to thank the Governor for asking me
to serve on this commission, and for the significant progress he has
already made in making New York more competitive. New York’s finances have
greatly improved in recent years, but our long-term economic prosperity
relies on reform of the tax code and tax relief.”? 
Co-Chair Peter J. Solomon said, “Modernizing our archaic taxes to make the
system more fair and equitable will be an enormous boost to New York. We
hope these options will further improve our business climate and help
encourage job creation.”? 
James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist of the Fiscal Policy
Institute, said, "The Commission's main sales tax proposal has the virtue
of being progressive in linking the elimination of the state clothing sales
tax exemption to an offsetting income tax credit for low- and
moderate-income households, and much-needed income-based property tax
relief." 
James W. Wetzler, Former Commissioner of the New York State Department of
Taxation and Finance, said, "Tax reform can make compliance much easier for
taxpayers, make the system fairer, and spur economic growth in New York." 
Dall W. Forsythe, Adjunct Professor of Finance at NYU’s Wagner School and
former New York State Budget Director said, “The current system violates
the basic tax policy principles of fairness and efficiency. New York is
long overdue in seeking out ways to streamline and standardize the tax code
and I’m very encouraged by the Commission’s comprehensive and objective
review.” 
The report will be shared with the New York State Tax Relief Commission,
co-Chaired by Mr. McCall and Governor George Pataki. The Tax Relief
Commission is working to help identify ways to reduce the State’s property
and business taxes, and will provide recommendations for consideration in
the Governor’s 2014 State of the State message. 
Since taking office in 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken significant
steps to improve New York’s business climate and to make taxes more
affordable for average New Yorkers. Significant reforms were undertaken in
the State’s Personal Income Tax to increase its overall progressivity while
assuring that all New Yorkers pay a lower income tax rate than when the
Governor took office. Governor Cuomo also took major steps to reduce the
high burden of the Real Property Tax by enacting the State’s first ever
property tax cap in 2011. The cap limits increases in school and local real
property taxes to two percent a year, or the rate of inflation, whichever
is less, with narrow limited exemptions. 
New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission Co-Chairs 
H. Carl McCall, State University of New York Board of Trustees
Chairman Peter J. Solomon, Peter J. Solomon Company, LP, Founder and
Chairman 
New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission Members 
J. Pat Barrett, Olympic Regional Development Authority Chairman
Dall W. Forsythe, New York State Division of the Budget, Former Director
David M. Frankel, New York City Finance Department, Former Commissioner
Thomas H. Mattox, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance,
Commissioner
James Parrott, Fiscal Policy Institute, Deputy Director and Chief Economist
Alan D. Schwartz, Guggenheim Partners, Executive Chairman
James W. Wetzler, New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Former
Commissioner
Robert G. Wilmers, M&T Bank, Chairman and CEO
Deborah C. Wright, Carver Bancorp, Inc. /Carver Federal Savings Bank,
Chairman and CEO 
Additional news available at www.governor.ny.gov 
New York State | Executive Chamber | press.office@exec.ny.gov | 
518.474.8418 
(kgt)NY 
 
 
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