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Tax Foundation says NY has worst tax climate in the nation

October 10, 2013
By MICHAEL GORMLEY , Associated Press

ALBANY - The winless Giants aren't the only New Yorkers having a tough fall.

A report out Wednesday by a national tax watch group put New York in the cellar among states when comparing the complexity of tax codes and tax rates. The national Tax Foundation ranked New York at 50th, behind New Jersey and California. New York's individual income tax ranking was 49th.

The business group Unshackle Upstate says the ranking is further evidence that bold, broad-based tax relief is needed for families and businesses.

"We must take bold steps to improve our job-killing tax climate," said Brian Sampson of Unshackle Upstate. "A stronger economy starts with lower taxes and the Tax Foundation's report shows that we've got work to do."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has established two tax commissions that will recommend ways to simplify the tax law and cut taxes.

Cuomo and the Legislature have extended an income tax surcharge on top earners and a business tax that together have generated more than $2 billion in additional tax revenue annually since 2010. That election year Cuomo and legislators promised no new taxes.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the Tax Foundation's conclusions conflict with other performance measures.

He said the state unemployment is 6.9 percent, which is under the national rate of 7.3 percent, and Forbes magazine recently ranked New York 21st among states in comparing business climates.

"Over the last three years, New York State has added more than 300,000 private sector jobs, received a positive outlook from Standard & Poor's and Moody's (credit rating services), reduced barriers and lowered taxes for businesses and put the state on secure fiscal footing," Azzopardi said.

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