Cuomo wants Tax credits, the Assembly majority wants rent control and now the Sales tax extensions are being held hostage… and presumably the Senate majority on behalf of “Up-Staters” want the SAFE Act repealed. Sounds like a deal for the three men room.
Michael P. Farrell/Times Union)
Sales tax extensions held hostage in rent control fight
Add extensions of sales taxes in 44 counties to the list of peripheral issues that aren’t being addressed, or put another way, being held hostage, to the Assembly-Senate standoff over the renewal of rent regulations.
While the Republican-controlled Senate has passed sales tax extensions for most suburban and upstate counties, the Democratic-dominated Assembly hasn’t moved on them, since they are tied up in the rent fight.
The Senate last week extended rent control for eight, then six years, with some additional conditions such as proof-of-income verification for those in rent controlled units.
They also have been seeking to make the property tax cap permanent and possibly enhance the STAR of school tax relief program that eases the school tax burden for many homeowners.
But the Assembly, along with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, says they want more tenant protections in an extension.
Caught up in the deadlock are the approvals needed in the Assembly for the sales tax extenders. Counties can levy a 3 percent sales tax on their own but they need to get legislative approval to go higher and that approval needs renewal every few years.
And the GOP Senate, not by accident, hasn’t approved New York City’s sales tax extender.
The state Association of Counties has sounded the alarm about this and they’ve even issued a chart showing which counties haven’t had their extensions.
If this drags on, expect Republicans to start pointing out that Assembly Democrats are blocking, through the standoff, their home counties ability to raise sales tax revenue. And expect Assembly Dems to do the opposite regarding New York City, at least for the few GOP Senators, Marty Golden and Andrew Lanza, who have NYC districts.
The loss of an extension in Albany County, for example, could amount to $58 million according to GOP estimates.
Here are the counties waiting the the Assembly to approve their sales tax increases.
Albany, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess
Erie, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Hamilton,Jefferson
Additionally, counties with Hotel/Motel Tax extenders or increases include:
And counties with Mortgage tax extenders or increases include:
Cuomo Speaks, Reports Progress
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his first public comments since June 14, told reporters at the Capitol on Monday night, said he was still pushing for the education tax credit, even in the face of Democratic opposition in the Assembly.
“I support both. I support the charter schools, aid to parochial schools,” Cuomo said in the impromptu gaggle. “As well as aid to public schools and I support extending the rent reforms. So I support both, but now we need to get both houses there.”
Cuomo’s appearance outside of his office was something of a surprise, catching the handful of reporters who were nearby somewhat off guard.
The governor had stayed behind the scenes for the last week as he negotiated with legislative leaders potential deals on a range of end-of-session issues including extending rent control for New York City, the tax credit, and an abatement for developers known as 421a.
But the talks have been a slog: Rent control expired last week and was temporarily renewed until midnight tonight, along with the 421a abatement. Democrats in the Assembly, meanwhile, have dug in against a governor who is a member of their own party on the tax credit issue, while Senate Republicans have seemingly not budged on the rent control issue.
In the meantime, most of Albany was wondering where the governor had gone.
The negotiations did appear to enter a new phase on Monday as both Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan were seen meeting together with Cuomo on the second floor of the Capitol.
Previously, both men had ping-ponged into and out of separate meetings with Cuomo.
Lawmakers return to the Capitol today, though height Flanagan or Heastie on Monday expected to bring to their majority conferences potential framework agreements.
Even as Cuomo pushes hard for the tax credit — staunchly opposed by the state’s teachers unions — he continues to face opposition from the state Assembly, where supporters of the measure say the bill could pass if a floor vote is allowed.
Cuomo sought to link the passage of the tax credit to stronger rent control laws for New York City, a move that Heastie has rejected.
Still, Cuomo said it is “non-realistic” for the Assembly to have focused so strongly on getting its way with rent control.
“That’s one house saying I want what I want and I don’t care what you want,” Cuomo said. “That seldom works in life let alone on legislation.”
– Nick Reisman
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