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Katko says tax reform is working in central NY, critics disagree

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Rep. John Katko at Dot Foods in Liverpool.

Central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said this week that the tax reform law passed last year is helping companies and employees in the region. Katko said the economy is on a path of sustained growth. 

Dot Foods in Liverpool is a logistics company that employs 330 people locally. General Manager Joe Little said all of their employees received a $500 bonus in March because of the tax cuts and the Liverpool facility is getting a $2 million facelift.

“There’s hope," Little said. "People feel better when there’s a little bit more in their paycheck every week from the lower withholdings. When they have a job and they have confidence that they’re going to continue to keep their job, people are more positive, they have a brighter outlook. Then they take those gains and reinvest back in our communities.”

Katko said Dot Foods is an example of tax reform working in his district.

“They’re getting more in their paychecks," Katko said. "They got bonuses on top of what they were getting, more in their paychecks from adjustment withholding, and they’re investing more back into the company. Those were the three things we were hoping that tax reform would do. It looks like that is what’s happening.”

Critics of the tax law say the benefits for lower and middle income households expire after eight years and the long-term effects of tax cuts could mean higher costs for healthcare and social services. Katko said the individual tax breaks will be made permanent.

“When you deal with facts, what Dot Foods is telling you today is facts, that other stuff is rhetoric and that’s not helpful," Katko said. “It feels great to look people in the eye and say I did this for you because I did. It makes you realize that it's worth taking the tough votes, it's worth taking the fire, because when people ultimately benefit, that's a good deal.

Like other businesses in the region, Dot Foods has a labor shortage and they are hiring more truck drivers.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.