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Press Release

New York CPA Society Members React to Tax Commission’s Proposed Reliefs

By:
Alonza Robertson, NYSSCPA Media Relations Manager
Published Date:
Dec 12, 2013

NEW YORK – (December 12, 2013) 

Members of the state’s largest association of CPAs offered reaction today to news that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was endorsing several new tax relief proposals that could potential reduce business and property levies $2 billion over three years.
 
 
The final report of Cuomo’s appointed State Tax Relief Commission – released on Tuesday – offered different ideas that could potentially jumpstart New York’s current economic conditions which some 63 percent of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants' members – in a recent survey - said were stagnant.
 
 
“The fact of the matter is if you make it easier for businesses to exist, i.e. tax cuts or incentives,  it bodes well for the state as well as for employment, said Scott Cheslowitz, a member of the New York State Society of CPA’s Tax Division Oversight Committee and a partner at Rothenberg & Peters PLLC. “Increased employment would boost income taxes and thus more revenues to the state.”
 
 
The commission’s recommendations - which will be debated in the NYS Legislature's 2014 session that opens in January - include:
 
 
  •  A property tax “circuit breaker” that would provide a rebate for homeowners whose property taxes exceed a percentage of their income.
  •  Lowering the corporate tax rate to 6.5 percent from 7.1 percent; for manufacturers upstate, the rate would be 2.5 percent, the lowest ever.
  •  Elimination of an energy tax placed on utilities and a special bank tax.
  •  Cutting the estate tax from 16 percent to 10 percent, and raise the size of the estate that could be taxed from $1 million to $5 million.
 
 
“I am very pleased to see that the Tax Relief Commission proposes to track the federal estate tax exemption (currently $5,250,000) for New York State estate tax purposes and to reduce the top New York State estate tax rate to 10 percent,” said Kevin Matz, a member of the NYSSCPA’s Board of Directors and chair of the Estate Planning Committee.
 
 
“If enacted, this would create a very favorable environment to encourage wealthy New Yorkers to remain in New York during their golden years, instead of fleeing to states such as Florida that do not have a state estate tax,” said Matz, a lawyer, CPA and owner of Kevin Matz & Associates PLLC.
 
 
Cheslowitz agreed. “The same applies for property tax cuts, which will make it easier for people to stay in their homes and thus not diluting the talent pool in the state. More talents draws more businesses and makes New York more competitive with other states; more businesses lead to higher revenues.”
 
 
In a recent Economic Outlook Survey - sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), the New Jersey Society of CPAs (NJSCPA), and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA) and released December 5 – some 58 percent of New York CPAs who responded believe the state’s business climate hinders economic growth. Eight in 10 CPAs said the tax structure in New York is worse than in other states.
 
 
(The Outlook survey – of CEOs, CFOs, accounting firm partners and other industry leaders residing in the three states - was conducted this past September and October by Franklin & Marshall College’s Center for Opinion Research. CLICK to download the full survey.)
 
 
Jonathan Horn, the chairman of the Society’s Multi-state, and Local Taxation Committee doesn’t agree with the Commission’s recommendations. “Unfortunately, the Tax Commission continues the practice of using the tax code to pick winners and losers based on politics, not economics or fairness,” he said.
 
 
“The proposed tax cuts do virtually nothing for New York City residents, renters in big cities throughout the state or manufacturers not located “upstate,” Horn said. Nor does it address the fact that New York residents, particularly in New York City, suffer from some of the highest income tax rates in the country.”
 

 

 

ABOUT THE NYSSCPA

Incorporated in 1897, the NYSSCPA, www.nysscpa.org, is one of the largest state accounting organization in the U.S. with more than 29,000 members.For more information contact Alonza Robertson, NYSSCPA Media Relations Manager at 212.719.8405 or arobertson@nysscpa.org.