Cuomo threatens New Yorkers with tax hikes amid COVID-19 deficits

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday threatened to increase the burden on New York’s already heavily taxed residents if federal lawmakers do not provide funding to offset losses from the coronavirus crisis.”It will be such a big hole in the financial plan that it will be impossible to fill it,” the governor said on a conference call with reporters.

“What would we do to try to fill it?” Taxes, reductions, loans, early retirement [of government workers]. All the foregoing. ”

New York City already holds the dubious distinction of being No. 1 in the country for highest combined state and local income tax burden, with a total rate of 12.7%, according to the group of Reflection Tax Foundation.

That works out to an average annual mouthful of $ 2,877, according to the Tax Foundation.

And last month, the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked the Empire State’s economic outlook as the worst in the country – for the seventh year in a row – in part because of its hefty taxes.

Cuomo’s threat to raise taxes represents a reversal of his previous warning that they would put New York at a competitive disadvantage with other states and lead to an exodus of high-income New Yorkers.

With the state already five months into its fiscal year, Cuomo has so far resisted liberal demands to raise taxes on the rich, in hopes that President Trump and Congress will agree on a plan. bailout for state and local governments – or that fellow Democrat Joe Biden will beat Trump in November and roll to the rescue.

Albany lawmakers did not make deep cuts when they passed the state budget on April 1, amid the pandemic, but Cuomo has since withheld funding from local governments and social service providers. to help keep the state afloat.

The governor has forecast a long-term deficit of $ 30 billion, due to the deadly impact of COVID-19.

The shortfall for the current fiscal year is around $ 8 billion, according to EJ McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

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