Tax cuts will boost area

The economy in the local area could use a boost. One of the easiest ways for the state to do that – rather than provide a politically-fueled tax cut for a specific business or industry – would be to cut taxes for everyone.

It was heartening to see business groups as well as progressive social service groups told state officials they must put an end to decades of targeted, often politically fueled tax breaks and, instead, fairly cut taxes to turn around one of the country’s worst business climates.

While the business groups called for deep tax cuts, progressive groups sought what they called tax fairness by eliminating breaks for the rich to cover the cost of reducing income taxes and to cut some of the nation’s highest property taxes crushing the middle class and working poor.

Joseph Henchman of the national Tax Foundation said New York’s tax system, whose tax burden consistently ranks worst or second worst in the nation, continues to be an albatross.

He noted Michigan eliminated the tax credit it had been using to attract movie productions. Although Michigan lost some film productions, the revenue lost to the credit was used more effectively to lower other, broader taxes, said Henchman.

The bottom line is tax cuts helping most state residents – whether income-tax cuts or property-tax cuts- would generate activity across the economy. From rich to poor, extra money to spend will generate more economic activity and likely lead to more employers adding workers.

That’s particularly important for our area. While the local unemployment numbers have improved in the past year, Fulton and Montgomery counties still had unemployment rates – according to the most recent data – above 8 percent.

Tax cuts can happen; all that is needed is the political will to carry them out. As Gov. Andrew Cuomo is preparing his 2014-15 budget and the Legislature prepares for the next session, beginning in January let’s hope they make a move to cut taxes – or make it easier for our local politicians to do so.