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Politics and Government

Tax hearing set for Monday


Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax commissioner is set to testify before a legislative budget hearing Monday morning, and he’s expected to get plenty of questions about a plan to freeze property taxes and cut some income taxes. Critics, who are also scheduled to speak, say the governor should focus more on lower income New Yorkers, as well.

Fred Floss, director of the union-backed think tank Fiscal Policy Institute, says Cuomo’s plan to focus on property and business tax cuts, along with a commitment to continue to hold spending to less than two percent a year, would result in what his group calls a decade of austerity that could harm infrastructure and economic growth.

“We started these cuts in the great recession in 2007 and 2008, and we go through the end of the governor’s financial plan in 2018,” Floss said. “That’s a decade, and we’ve seen substantial cuts in social welfare and in aide to localities.”

F.P.I. and other progressive groups say the governor’s property tax freeze would disproportionately benefit wealthier property owners. They favor a circuit breaker that would give more tax breaks to lower income earners. Pro-business groups are also scheduled to testify.