Posted at: 09/04/2013 6:15 PM
By: Dan Bazile
ALBANY -- New Yorkers pay some of the highest taxes in the nation by any measure, according to Joe Henchman from the Tax Foundation.
"New York is across the board, high property taxes, high income taxes, high business taxes. The sales tax isn't that low either," said Joe Henchman from the Tax Foundation.
Henchman told several senators during a hearing at the Legislative Office Building Wednesday there's a strong correlation between taxes and economic growth. He was one of many experts from different organizations who testified at the hearing. Most of them came to similar conclusions.
"It's encouraging to hear there's real interest among the senators in looking at fundamental structural tax reform that begins to move away from the emphasis we've had on narrowly targeting tax breaks," said E. J. McMahon from the Manhattan Institute.
McMahon said the breaks and small slices of benefit have been going to small groups of individuals and businesses.
"The state needs to adopt sort of a permanent attitude of creating the best possible broad base tax climate for job creation," McMahon said.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has been looking at taxes too. He created a commission charged to find solutions. However, a group of tax reformers want the governor and senators to be more open about the process. They held a small protest outside the Senate chambers. They said tax policies recently enacted were misguided and political. They pointed to tax breaks for big developers in New York City.
"Really what we need to do is open up this tax discussion to let the public have a chance to weigh in, spread a little sunshine on all the tax decisions that we're making," said Ron Deutsch, executive director of New Yorkers For Fiscal Fairness.
The Senate panel also heard from Frank Mauro, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. He had an opposing view. He said the progressive tax system was good policy.