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October 19, 2017 - 11:43am

County Legislature declines to take position on Congressional plan to eliminate state and local deductions

posted by Howard B. Owens in taxes, news.

The County Legislature won't take a position on a GOP proposal to eliminate deductions on state and local income taxes after the Ways and Means Committee failed Wednesday to move forward a resolution to oppose the change in the federal tax code.

A draft resolution, written by the NYS Association of Counties and the National Association of Counties, was sent to the County Legislature and after Legislator Marianne Clattenburg made a motion for the committee to send the resolution to the full Legislature, Ray Cianfrini, a member of the committee and chairman of the Legislature, said he opposed the resolution.

"I think it only benefits the very rich and not most of the people," Cianfrini said.

Cianfrini said when practiced law, a portion of his practice involved tax law and he saw very few clients taking the kind of itemized deductions that would allow them to deduct their payments of state and local income taxes.

Congressional Republicans are also talking about increasing the size of the standard deduction and Cianfrini calculates that the first $34,000 earned by a household would not be taxed. That would make it even more impractical for most people to itemize their deductions.

"I don’t pay $20,000 in state income tax, so what benefit is this to me?" Cianfrini said.

Clattenburg said she supported the resolution because New York is one of the highest taxed states in the Union and New York sends more money to Washington than it gets back.

Legislator Andrew Young said he supported the motion only because he thought the full Legislature should get a chance to vote on it but that he would probably ultimately vote against it.

Committee Chairman Bob Bausch opposed the resolution because he said he didn't think the Legislature should be lobbying Congress on tax policy.

With a 2-2 vote, the motion to move the resolution forward failed.

Dave Olsen
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How about sending a resolution to the state demanding an end to state income tax, period. Then deductions won;t be a problem.

Dave Olsen
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I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. LOL. I believe income taxes in NY account for about 40% of the budget, so if they cut income tax by 25%, it only removes 10% of the state budget. Take an amount equal to 25% of this year's income tax off everyone's bill each of the next 4 years and voila! Income tax is gone, the state only had to chop out 10% each year and in 4 years its gone.

Howard B. Owens
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And then the state pushes more mandates on the county and property taxes go up!

david spaulding
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build that jail, build that jail, build that jail .........

John Roach
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That jail is coming, again the State will mandate it.

Dave Olsen
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Take away the money, take away their power

Kevin Ross
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Do we really need a federal government, a state government, a county government, a town government, a village government who all say they need their taxation of the people to operate. Do we need NYS highway department, do we need a county highway department, do we need a town highway department, do we need a village highway department which all cost money to operate. Do we need a NYS DOT and a NYS Thruway Authority that cost money to operate. Do we need a federal emergency management, do we need a state emergency management, do we need a county emergency management, do we need a town emergency management, do we need a village emergency management who all cost money to operate. Etc. Etc. Etc. Do we need to pay federal tax, do we need to pay state tax, do we need to pay town tax, do we need to pay village. I personally don't see the need for so many levels of government, which in turn the taxpayers have to fund. Plus look at all the levels of employees in each level of government. The manager of the manager, the assistant to the manager, the assistant to the assistant to the manager, Etc. Etc. Wonder how much the taxpayers could save if we did not have so many government levels. Think about it. How many levels of government do we need putting their hand in your pocket.

tom hunt
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Elimination of these and other deduction would in effect cause taxes to be levy upon taxes; double taxation. This files in the face of common sense and is against the spirit of law of the land. Carefully crafted tax avoidance plans would be negated causing an upheaval in a lot of personal finances. The only part of this proposal I support is the tax holiday on profits of US companies that are currently being held over seas.

John Roach
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If you could no longer deduct State taxes, would the taxpayers finally force the State to lower them?

tom hunt
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John, I would highly doubt that. Taxes are like a ratchet jack, it only knows one direction: UP.

Dave Olsen
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Your right Kevin and there are levels within levels. It's a giant slobbering beast that is never satisfied. One solution would be to institute taxing only at the municipal level, whether it be sales tax or some type of flat tax. The town or city would then hold 1/2 of it and the towns would vote on the county budget and fund it with the set aside half. The county would then hold 1/2 of what they receive and the counties would approve the state budget, the states would hold 1/2 and vote on the federal budget. That keeps power local, towns could decide how much they want to spend on what and how much county, state and federal government they want to pay for. It could be done, except that all those (and there are many) who benefit from big state and federal gub'ment won't allow it. I'd be happy with a flat tax or national sales tax and eliminate income taxes completely.

Howard B. Owens
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Um ... think you got that idea from me, Dave :)

Also, then, most services should be under local control, including all social services. We should take care of our own. There might be state and federal guidelines, but most of the control would remain local.

In the meantime, we live in the system we've got and our priority is to protect and promote our locality, which means we don't try to damage and destroy our local government and we champion our local leaders in trying to better our community through the system as it exists, not try to tear it down. That's realism over idealism.

Dave Olsen
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I first heard that idea from my friend Dr. Mark Glogowski and massaged a little all by myself. I'm sure you and I have discussed it more than once, though.
As for your last paragraph: In the nicest way possible, I say No and you can store any lectures you think I need on that subject somewhere the sun don't shine.
I still love you though Howard. :)

Dave Olsen
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The main problem with income taxes is we, the people are required to report everything we earn to the federal and state government. They in turn tell us how much of it we can keep. That is a totally turned around state of affairs. Everyone's income is their business and as supposedly free men and women, it is nobody's business including the taxman how or where we earned it. As long as it's not stolen. Up until 1913, that was how it was in the USA, and the quicker we return to it, the better off we will be and the better we can rein in and limit government at every level.

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