Governor Cuomo is very angry at Republicans in Washington for cutting taxes on most Americans but limiting the deductibility of state and local taxes (SALT) to a mere $10,000. He ranted to Alysyn Camerota on CNN: “What the Senate was saying was because we have no senators from the blue states, we don’t care, so let’s pillage the blue to give to the red.” Oh really? Our two Senators from deeply blue New York are both Democrats and like Cuomo, they love high taxes and big government. Democrats own New York state. They have a 2:1 advantage in voter registration. They’ve held every statewide office for 11 years.
Our taxes are 27% higher than the national average, and the highest in the nation. We have high cigarette taxes, alcohol taxes, gasoline taxes, natural gas taxes, electricity taxes, home heating oil taxes, you name it. We have onerous state mandates imposed on upstate by Albany that drive our property taxes through the roof. In Steuben County 90% of our county taxes go to pay for these mandates. In Chemung County it’s 100%. It sounds like an exaggeration, but it’s true, and it’s crippling us here in upstate New York. Not surprisingly, we are near or at the bottom of measures of personal freedom and business climate. Who proposed these taxes and who voted for them? Democrats like Cuomo, who’s been in office since 2011.
Cuomo crows about his puny middle-class tax cuts, a 1.35% reduction phased in over 7 years to cushion the blow – to whom? The government? Meanwhile, the latest census data peal like a funeral bell for New York. In 2017 New York led the nation in lost population- 190,000 people left. Since 2010 we have lost a million people, another first in the nation. In 2011, 1.3 people left for every one person who moved in. In 2016, the awful trend accelerated to 1.6 leaving for every one who moved in. We’re also aging. Our under-18 population fell 3.9% from 2016 to 2017. All of this well before the tax reform passed by Congressional Republicans.
Margaret Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” This is Cuomo’s dilemma. Instead of lowering taxes, he’s scheming to change them to payroll taxes or sham charitable contributions to grab all of your money that he can.
Here’s a suggestion for Cuomo: why not allow taxpayers to deduct their property, sales and other state taxes on our state income tax returns. If Cuomo truly reveres the SALT deduction, he should get right on board. Meanwhile, maybe he could stop whining about a situation that he and his party created in the first place.
Michael A. Morrongiello, Ph. D.