You have to admire Governor Andrew Cuomo’s audacity in summoning legislators back to Albany to turn his flip-flop on taxing the rich into an agreement to raise $1.9 billion in new tax revenues.
Amazingly, Cuomo was able to sell his revenue-raising scheme to Democrats and Republicans alike by proposing to hike income tax rates for the rich, while cutting them for the middle class.
Cuomo’s remarkable course correction came after he had repeatedly opposed new taxes, and had supported the expiration of an income tax surcharge on the rich. Cuomo said he found a fairer way to raise income taxes by re-jiggering tax brackets to impose higher tax rates on the wealthiest.
Another part of this political package–of particular appeal to Long Island–will relieve small businesses from the MTA’s onerous payroll tax.
Cuomo made a persuasive case that a tax system that progressively raises rates can more fairly generate revenues the state needs.
Also give credit to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos for striking the deal with Cuomo.
No doubt, some will condemn this as governance by “three men in a room,” but thanks to them, a state long known for dysfunction is functioning again.