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Daily Point

Tax reform could mean more taxes for LI

The Long Island Association has put a dollar figure on how some potential changes to the federal tax code — particularly in terms of deductions — would hurt Long Island.

The total annual cost to Long Island: $4.4 billion.

To arrive at that figure, the region’s largest business group assumed the elimination of all itemized deductions — including mortgage interest, state income tax, property taxes and other smaller deductions. The largest impact would come from terminating the state income-tax deduction — which would cost Long Island taxpayers an extra $1.5 billion a year, according to the LIA. Getting rid of the property-tax deduction would lead to an additional $1 billion loss, while ending the mortgage-interest deduction would create a $733 million-a-year loss to the local economy.

Not surprisingly, ending such deductions would hurt high-income earners most, with those making $200,000 or more looking at an average $23,196 tax increase, the LIA said. On average, Long Islanders would see a $7,794 tax increase just from the elimination of itemized deductions.

The LIA’s report didn't account for still unknown additional changes to the code that might make April 15 more painful, or whether a reduction in tax rates or brackets would compensate for the loss of deductions.

The LIA also didn’t look at the effect the changes would have on the housing market and the rest of the Island’s economy. LIA president and chief executive Kevin Law said the association would do further analyses once President Donald Trump unveils a definitive plan and exact data.

Certainly, ending the deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes would change the region’s overall economy, and the housing market it relies on, in significant ways.

“There will be winners and losers,” Law said.

Randi F. Marshall

Talking Point

Uber controversial

While the “raise the age” debate continues to dominate state budget talks, other contentious issues plug along in the background — such as the fate of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, which are legal in New York City but nowhere else in the state.

While the general sense in Albany is that this issue must be resolved this year, lawmakers and Uber executives agree that the biggest obstacle to a resolution is the question of local control.

In a reversal of form, it’s the Assembly that’s holding out for some form of local authority as opposed to statewide regulations. Some legislators understand giving full control to every municipality is not feasible, and some partial remedies have been suggested, like grandfathering in localities that already have taxi and limousine commissions or putting counties in control.

But at the end of the day, as one lawmaker put it, “My best guess is that it ends up a lot closer to state pre-emption than any meaningful local control.”

Michael Dobie

Reference Point

Turn back time

Seventy-six years ago today, Albany was “rushing to adjournment,” just as the State Legislature is this week to meet a budget deadline. In 1941, funding for the elimination of Long Island’s dangerous grade crossings was an important issue — and it still is today. Take a read above to see Nassau and Suffolk’s play to get funding from then-Gov. Herbert Lehman, and click here to learn about state budget negotiations this week.

Amanda Fiscina

Pointing Out

Coming at de Blasio from the left

Mayor Bill de Blasio is facing another challenger in his re-election bid: longtime advocate Bob Gangi, head of the Police Reform Organizing Project.

He is a constant critic of the NYPD and broken-windows policing. But Gangi has little name recognition outside of that activism. With his official announcement expected next Wednesday, Gangi will join a number of relative long-shot Democratic primary candidates, including former City Councilman Sal Albanese, who has run for mayor multiple times, and State Sen. Tony Avella of Queens, who is much further to the right than de Blasio.

But Gangi’s main issue might sway part of de Blasio’s core constituency: criminal justice reformers disappointed with the mayor’s record despite his campaign’s position that he has worked for better community-police relations. At a rally on Monday for Ramarley Graham, who was fatally shot in 2012 by an NYPD officer who lost his departmental trial last weekend, Graham’s mother said the mayor needed to grow a “backbone.” The mother, Constance Malcolm, said de Blasio’s lack of speed on reform meant black lives didn’t matter to him.

Gangi has different views on policing, which he hopes will “influence the mainstream debate.” Though, he says, he still hopes to win. “Obviously, it’s improbable,” he says.

Mark Chiusano