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Be grateful for New York’s wealthier taxpayers

New York City skyline.

New York City skyline. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto / MIHAI ANDRITOIU

Be grateful for wealthy taxpayers

New York State’s population decline is not at all surprising [“Census: New York sees population decrease” News, Dec. 20].

The state has been growing anemically, or declining, for decades for many reasons: high taxes, harsh winter weather, and dysfunctional state and city governments. This trend will surely continue for decades, especially because of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which limits the federal tax deduction for state income and property taxes to $10,000 a year.

If it weren’t for New York State’s upper-income and upper middle-income residents who are able to pay thousands of dollars more annually in federal income taxes because of this change in the law, things would be even worse for New York. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo should consider sending thank-you notes to these bold taxpayers who have decided to stick it out in New York and not flee the state.

Herbert Kraut, Woodmere

Editor’s note: The writer is an accountant.

Legal pot will lead to many problems

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called for legalization of marijuana for recreational use [“Cuomo: Legalize marijuana,” News, Dec. 18].

Here’s what I believe will happen with legalization:

  • Millions of young adults who otherwise wouldn’t buy it illegally will now use marijuana, reasoning, “It’s legal, what’s the harm?” Just look at the vaping epidemic.
  • Dealers of illegal drugs will compete by lowering their prices and pushing tainted pot, opioids and other addictive drugs, enticing kids and grandkids into unbreakable habits that risk overdose deaths.
  • Countless pot users will lose their ambition to learn. They will underperform or drop out of school and wander through life in a mental haze of dead-end jobs or dependence on government aid.
  • Vehicle fatalities will skyrocket from those driving while under the influence. Lives and families will be ruined.
  • Tobacco companies will get involved in growing and marketing and add habit-forming chemicals to create dependence. Regular cigarette smoking will increase, further harming overall health and raising medical costs.
  • The poor will be most adversely affected.
  • Taxes collected will be squandered and the government will grab for more.

Gov. Cuomo and legislators, please don’t do it! You will be responsible for much misery. At the very least, put it to a statewide referendum and spread the blame for these inevitable results or, if there remains any voter sanity, avoid them altogether.

Robert D. Teetz, New Hyde Park