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New York leaders say Senate tax overhaul bill is even worse for the state

Matt Churchill

Now that the House of Representatives has voted for a tax overhaul plan that some state leaders say will harm New York, the action moves to the Senate, where a vote is expected after Thanksgiving.

Gov. Cuomo, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other top state Democrats say the Senate plan is potentially even worse for New York. The House plan ends the deduction for state and local income taxes, but allows the deduction of property taxes up to $10,000. The Senate bill omits even that limited deduction. Cuomo says New Yorkers will pay more to finance the main portion of the tax overhaul, the reduction in taxes on large companies.

“They're using New York as a piggy bank to finance the corporate tax cut. It's disgusting. It's reprehensible,” Cuomo said. “I only pray that the Senate can stop it.”

New York’s Congressional representatives who voted for the tax overhaul say the problem isn’t eliminating the deduction. They say the real issue is that New York has among the highest state and local property taxes in the nation.

The Senate bill also includes a provision to repeal the Affordable Care Act mandate that Americans buy health insurance, or face a penalty on their taxes.

Jessica Wisneski, with Citizen Action, is among progressive groups opposing the provision.  She calls the repeal of the mandate a “poison pill”.

“We want to keep health care whole,” Wisneski said.

The Obamacare provision will likely make it harder for the Senate to pass the tax measure, because there’s a risk that some key GOP Senators might not go along with it.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.