Bronx Pols Get Behind Cuomo’s Tax Plan

[Video: Gov. Cuomo explains his new tax plan.]

Yesterday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that legislative leaders in the senate and assembly had reached an agreement that would lower taxes for middle-class New Yorkers, while increasing taxes for the wealthiest. Cuomo says the changes would net about $1.9 billion in additional revenue.

The City Council quickly passed a resolution supporting the measure and a few Bronx politicians released statements praising the legislation, which is being finalized during a special session in Albany today.

Freshman Bronx State Senator Gustavo Rivera, who was vocal about extending a temporary tax hike for New Yorkers making more than $200,000 (in place since 2009 and set to expire at the end of the year), lauded the agreement, which will essentially replace the revenue lost when the temporary tax hike expires.

Here’s Rivera’s statement:

“I applaud Governor Cuomo’s for his leadership in taking on tax reform and for acknowledging that New York State can address economic development at the same time that we address economic inequality. After being asked to continuously sacrifice during tough economic times, middle class and working families in the 33rd Senate District in the Bronx will be receiving a tax cut to help them get back on track. Together, we have brought the tax rate for middle class families to its lowest in 58 years in the state of New York. Once again, Governor Cuomo and the state of New York have taken a lead on creating a more fair and progressive tax system that should be a model for other states and for our federal government.

Despite lowering taxes, this plan will also bring in $1.9 billion in much-needed revenue to the state of New York that I hope will be used to fund education, health and public safety programs cut over previous years. With more than half of my constituents earning less than $25,000 a year, there is no doubt in my mind that the communities that I represent are hit the hardest by cutting critical human services. I hope that by continuing to work with Governor Cuomo over the coming days and months, we will be able to ensure that communities like the ones I represent are not being asked to sacrifice further and that a sense of fairness is restored to both our tax system and our budget priorities.”

Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and his father, State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., also came out in support of the plan.

Junior: “It is time to let those earning the most in our State pay their fair share, and that we spend that added revenue on creating much needed jobs and help put our state’s economy on a path for growth. Through this plan Bronx middle class and working class families will receive a tax break, one that can make a big difference in their day to day lives.”

Senior: “Governor Andrew Cuomo has finally seen the light! Once again, time has proven me right.

“Earlier this year, no one wanted to follow my lead when I insisted that we will never come out of this mess and stop hurting the poor unless we enact a Millionaires Tax and extend our rent control laws.

“Today, I am glad that Governor Cuomo realizes that we need to tax the rich, and I am hopeful that my colleagues in the Senate and Governor Cuomo will continue to see that when we vote on next year’s Budget fight we need to protect the poor and needy people who live in New York.”

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