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Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs bill making union dues deductible

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks during

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks during a news conference announcing plans for a freight train tunnel between New York and New Jersey on Friday, May 5, 2017. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Labor union dues will be fully deductible from New York State income tax under legislation signed Friday in Manhattan by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

On a union hall stage in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, Cuomo made New York one of the first states in the nation to allow the write-off.

The measure will save the state’s approximately 500,000 unionized workers about $70 a year each — and cost the state $35 million in tax revenue.

“We’re going to make it easier to join labor unions by allowing the dues to be deductible from your state taxes,” Cuomo said to cheers at the New York Hotel Trades Council.

Cuomo called the new law “just an example of the relationship, the trust, the love and the similarity that exists” with union members.

The deduction begins with the 2018 tax year and applies to public- and private-sector union members, Cuomo’s office said.

The federal government allows union dues to be deducted, but only if those expenses coupled with items such as uniforms exceed 2 percent of a filer’s gross adjusted income.

The measure Cuomo signed allows workers to deduct 100 percent of dues, regardless of the portion of income they represent.

Also Friday, Cuomo announced that the Cross Harbor Freight Movement Project, a plan to move train cargo between New Jersey and New York, had reached a milestone: issuance of a request for proposals to conduct an environmental impact study for the project, which aims to ease truck traffic.

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