GOP senators roll out tax proposals ahead of Cuomo

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Beating Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to the punch, Senate Republicans issued their own set of recommended tax and spending cuts Tuesday, including enacting a permanent 2 percent cap on spending growth.

Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) issued the GOP’s “Report on Tax Reform” about six weeks before the kickoff of the 2014 legislative session and weeks before a tax study group formed by Cuomo is expected to deliver recommendations. The activity underscores speculation around the State Capitol that lawmakers want to pass some tax cuts next year – when statewide officeholders and state legislators are up for re-election.

Some of the GOP’s ideas are repeats from previous years, such as eliminating a tax known as the 18-A surcharge, paid by utility companies and the MTA payroll tax. Republicans also want to make permanent inflation adjustments for income-tax brackets to allow for normal wage growth and abolish the corporate tax on manufacturers.

“There is nothing more progressive than empowering the private sector to create good-paying jobs,” Skelos said in a statement, employing a word, “progressive,” often used by Cuomo to describe his agenda.

Cuomo told supporters at a summer fundraiser that tax cuts would be on 2014 docket. He has launched not one, but two tax commissions. Last week, one issued a reporting suggesting, among other things, ending a sales-tax exemption on clothes and lifting a gas-tax cap in favor of tax relief on low-income homeowners.

The second, set to report in December, is expected to focus on property taxes. Some of the proposals are expected to reappear when Cuomo unveils his legislative agenda in January.

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