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Last thing NY needs is a payroll tax
17 January 2018, 02:13 | Tara Lloyd
NY will launch a study into whether it's plausible to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to announce Tuesday. By doing so, the tax burden would shift from workers - who face new limits on their ability to deduct state income taxes - to employers, who could still take full deductions for such payroll taxes.
The proposal to study recreational marijuana comes as NY faces a $4.4 billion budget deficit, where the governor and legislature are looking to shore up revenue.
Meanwhile, relatives of New Yorkers who suffered through terminal illnesses returned to Albany last week to urge passage of a law authorizing people with fatal diseases to seek life-ending medication from a physician.
Cuomo's proposal also includes a variety of "revenue actions" - tax and fee increases. The state already has a statute where we get the majority of the revenues. Let them work with the state police and other agencies. Almost all school districts in Erie County would see Foundation Aid increases of under 2 percent under the Cuomo plan. Foundation aid is propose to increase by $338 million. State school aid will hit $26.4 billion under the Cuomo plan, an increase of $769 million. The marijuana panel news was reported by the Daily News ahead of Cuomo's speech.
The Assembly leader has been among Cuomo's most vocal allies on efforts for NY to try to end-run the new federal tax law and its limit on state and local taxes.
Cuomo says instead of taxing income received by employees, the state would tax wages paid by employers to counter the loss of income deductibility. He said a study will be released soon that explores converting the state income tax to a payroll tax and substituting charitable donations for local property taxes.
New York's medical marijuana program, signed into law by Cuomo in 2014, has struggled in its first few years of operation.
He also said he'd like to see the state create a dedicated funding stream for transportation projects out of existing resources, according to the News. This would mitigate the impact of the federal tax plan on high-income earners, he said.
"They weren't expecting the tax cut; they got the tax cut", Cuomo said.
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Sen. Elaine Phillips (R-Flower Hill) said her office has conducted a survey in her district and her constituents don't appear to support recreational marijuana use.
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