2011-12-30 / Community

Assemblywoman Michele Titus Outlines New Tax Plan

Assemblywoman Michele Titus, who says she is a stanch advocate for fair share taxation, is proud to announce the Assembly’s passage of historic legislation that will help New York’s working families by cutting taxes and creating jobs. The agreement ensures millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share.

“Our legislation will provide muchneeded tax relief to New York’s hardworking families, while helping create jobs and close our state’s budget deficit,” Titus said. “Working with the governor, we have progressively reformed the tax system so that we have the revenue to allow us to continue delivering crucial services in education and health care.”

This plan, which is the most significant, progressive tax policy change in New York in a generation, will lessen the financial burden on approximately 4.4 million middle-class, working-class and poor New York State taxpayers and will strengthen our economy with the creation of new jobs. This tax cut will be paid for by creating a new tax bracket for high-income earners making over $2 million per year. A commission will also be established to review and make suggestions for improving the state’s tax system.

“This tax code reform is a simple matter of fairness,” Titus said. “Reforming the tax code to support middle-class families is the right thing to do, and is the best way to stimulate consumer spending and jumpstart the economy. This plan will give relief to the struggling middle class and put New York on the path to fiscal stability.”

MTA payroll tax cut

The Assembly passed legislation permanently eliminating the MTA payroll taxes for qualifying small businesses with annual payrolls of $1.25 million or less per year. Other small businesses will see a significant decrease in their MTA payroll taxes as well.

“This legislation is great news for small businesses. Lifting this onerous financial burden will enable us to create a more business-friendly climate in Queens,” Titus said.

The Assembly legislation also eliminates MTA payroll taxes for those who are self-employed and earn less than $50,000 per year. In addition, it exempts schools, both public and private, from having to pay the tax. And many small businesses will see a considerable decrease in the tax, including those companies with payrolls up to $1.75 million.

Flood recovery

The Assembly’s legislation includes significant relief for individuals and businesses affected by tropical storms Irene and Lee, specifically:  $50 million in grants to areas damaged by tropical storms Irene and

Lee; and  three separate flood property tax bills that provide:  property tax relief for damaged properties;  flexibility for schools in collecting taxes; and  advanced school aid payments from the state.

“Many New Yorkers are still recovering from the devastating effects of recent storms,” the Assemblywoman said. “This legislation will provide them with the help they desperately need by providing tax relief and recovery funds and creating jobs to get these hardworking families back on their feet.”

Funding workforce and job-creation programs

The Assembly also provided $61 million for jobs programs, including: The Summer Youth Employment Program, $25 million; Higher Education Opportunity Programs, $9 million; Career Pathways, $2.5 million; Advanced Technology Training and Information Networking (ATTAIN), $2 million; The Displaced Homemaker Program, $2.5 million; Childcare Facilitated Enrollment Demonstration Programs, $7 million; The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), $1 million; and Youth Employment Readiness Training Program, $12 million.

“Funding for programs like these is essential in preparing New Yorkers to enter or re-enter the workforce. In doing so, we will grow our economy and instill in our young people the skills necessary to ensure that future generations continue to thrive in our great state,” Titus said.

Tax credit for employing disadvantaged youth

The Assembly’s legislation grants a tax break to companies that hire atrisk or disadvantaged youths between the ages of 16 and 24 during the first six months of 2012. The credit will be available to those companies who work in the clean energy, health care, advanced manufacturing and conservation fields. The companies will be eligible to receive up to $3,000 during the six-month training period for the new hires and could earn an extra $1,000 if they retain these new employees for an additional six months after the training has ended.

Additionally, the state will provide $12 million in grants for critical jobs programs for inner-city youths. These grants will aid in youth-employment readiness training, occupational training, workplace mentoring and job placement. Participating youths will receive a $300 stipend per month to help with the costs faced when trying to enter the job market.

“It is critical that we give at-risk youths the skills necessary to succeed and provide them with job opportunities so that they may excel in spite of their environment,” Titus said.

Spurring the economy through accelerated state construction and job creation

The Assembly’s legislation implements “design-build” as a procurement method. This would ensure that one entity designs and completes a project, streamlining the process.

“The state of disrepair that many of our roads, bridges, highways and parks are currently in is a direct result of a lack of funds,” Titus said. “By making it easier to get infrastructure projects off the ground, more jobs can be created quickly and we will enhance our economic climate.

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