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Senate Republicans propose 25% tax cut for middle class

ALBANY — The Senate’s Republican majority on Wednesday proposed a 25 percent cut in the income tax paid by 4 million middle-class taxpayers, reductions in taxes paid by retirees with private-sector pension plans and a cut in a utility tax.

The proposal also would cut taxes for small business operators and farmers.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) said he hadn’t seen the Senate proposal and had no comment on its chances in budget negotiations.

The Senate Republican proposal is a counter to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s budget proposal. Cuomo is seeking some business tax cuts, but not as large a cut in income tax as the Senate Republicans.

The tax cut proposal also would appear to be a counter to Assembly Democrats’ priority measures.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) said Republicans are discussing proposals by Cuomo and Assembly Democrats to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and to institute paid family leave.

Negotiations over the state budget are expected to begin within days. The budget is due by April 1.

Senate Republicans and the Assembly’s Democratic majority are scheduled to release their full budget proposals Friday.

The Senate majority’s full budget proposal is expected to be voted on Monday.

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