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Cuomo: Trump tax proposal is 'punitive,' will raise taxes

WBFO's Mike Desmond
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (at podium) speaks in Cheektowaga Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is blasting the Trump Administration's federal tax proposal, saying it will cost New Yorkers more than $17 billion.

While there are various changes in the Trump proposal that will hit the Empire State, on Thursday the Governor focused on the removal of the tax credit for paying property taxes. He said this hits especially hard in states with high property taxes, which are heavily New York and California.

Locally, he said the effective average property tax would rise from $7,500 to $10,500. Cuomo said the state has spent years trying to ease the costs of government on all levels, but the resulting tax burden and Washington could change all of that.

"Raise taxes for individuals and make us much less competitive for businesses," he said. "When Howard Zemsky goes out and is courting business, one of the questions is always, 'Well, what is the tax structure in New York?' And this will make our taxes higher relative to the other states."

Speaking in Cheektowaga, the Governor said another Trump proposal would hit state finances very hard. The proposal calls for removing a health care subsidy for states with a lot of Medicaid cases. That 1.1 billion cut takes effect on Sunday.

"We have a high percentage of Medicaid patients and it would cost New York State about $1.1 billion over the next 18 months," Cuomo said. "New York State starts with a $4 billion deficit. We have no way to make up a $1.1 billion cut."

Cuomo said it will get worse over time to deal with that loss of federal aid, eventually adding up to a $2.5 billion cut over five years. The most recent defeats of the plan to repeal of the Affordable Care Act means further cuts in federal cash coming to Albany will not happen anytime soon.

"This is not the first time they've tried to do this on state and local," Cuomo said. "Under President Reagan, they tried to do the same thing. My father was Governor at this time, organized the governors around the country and they were successful in stopping it because it is so targeted and it is so punitive."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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