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Qns. pols hail Legislature on middle-class tax cuts

Gov. Andrew Cuomo applauds the state Legislature coming to an agreement on reforming the tax code that will lead to cuts fo middle-class earners. AP Photo/Hans Pennink
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Most Queens residents will have more money in their pockets come tax time next year after the state Legislature earlier this month approved tax decreases for those making less than $300,000.

The agreement changes the income tax structure and Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the revisions will add $1.9 billion to the state’s coffers.

Under the reforms enacted by the Legislature, those making between $300,000 and $2 million will have a base tax rate of 6.85 percent, up from 6.65 percent.

For those earning $2 million and more, the rate will be 8.82 percent, up from the 6.65 percent base rate but less than the 8.97 percent they were paying under the so-called “millionaire’s tax” surcharge.

The governor said 4.4 million New Yorkers will see tax decreases under the plan, including a $690 million reduction in taxes for the middle class, which was defined as earners making $300,000 or less.

That group had a 6.85 percent base tax rate, but those making between $40,000 and $150,000 will have a rate of 6.45 percent.

Those with an income between $150,000 and $300,000 will see their rate slashed from 6.85 percent to 6.65 percent.

State Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) said the changes to the tax code were needed.

“This tax code reform is a simple matter of fairness,” Miller said. “Reforming the tax code to support middle-class families is the right thing to do and is the best way to stimulate consumer spending and jump-start the economy. This plan will give relief to the struggling middle class and put New York on the path to fiscal stability.”

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) also applauded the move, which was approved by the Legislature during a special session called by Cuomo earlier this month.

“I am thankful to have been given an opportunity to give the middle class of this state a long-overdue and certainly needed state income tax break,” Addabbo said. “The restructuring of New York state’s tax code creates a fair and progressive tax system and provides equity to citizens across this city and state.”

Since 2009, those making more than $300,000 were hit with the millionaire’s tax on top of their base tax rate that was anywhere from 7.85 percent to 8.97 percent.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Posted 3:03 am, December 22, 2011
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