Tax Reform

The Takeaway

On Tax Day, Where's the Tax Reform?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You've either filed, are filing, or are filing an extension, but what if we had a deadline for Congress and the president for a comprehensive tax overhaul? 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

David Leonhardt: Here's The Deal

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

David Leonhardt, Washington bureau chief for the New York Times and author of the new e-book Here's the Deal, previews tonight's State of the Union address, and discusses his take on deficits, taxes, and growth. Plus, what the North Korean nuclear test means for Obama diplomacy.

→ Tonight: SOTU Watch and Live-Chat with Brian, plus Emily Bazelon and David Plotz of Slate's Politics Gabfest! Starts here at 9pm.

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It's A Free Country ®

Watch Live: President Obama News Conference

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ahead of another battle over sequestration, President Barack Obama is expected to unveil a proposal of spending cuts and reforms to tax policies today at 1:15.



Since Last State of the State, A Mixed Bag for Cuomo

Tuesday, January 08, 2013


A year ago, in his State of the State address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo dramatically proposed the world's largest convention center near JFK airport, $15 billion in infrastructure investments, restructuring the state's pension program, and public financing of elections.  As we head into the 2013 state of the state, here's a tally of where those promises ended up.



Tax Reform Options Spread Pain Differently for New Yorkers

Friday, December 21, 2012

As a compromise remains out of reach for President Obama and John Boehner on how to revamp spending and tax policies in 2013, a new analysis looks at five different scenarios for tax reform and how each would affect the annual bills paid by New Yorkers.


The Brian Lehrer Show

John Dickerson's DC

Friday, December 07, 2012

John Dickerson, Slate and CBS political analyst, and panelist on the Political Gabfest, discusses the latest in DC politics, from ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations to today's jobs report.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Republican Fiscal Cliff Proposal

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The GOP has made a "fiscal cliff" counter-offer. James Capretta, fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses the plan and what conservatives want from the negotiations.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Post-Thanksgiving, Pre-Cliff Politics

Monday, November 26, 2012

John Heilemann, political reporter for New York Magazine, discusses the latest in the negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" and whether Republicans and Democrats can find enough common ground on tax deduction reform.

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It's A Free Country ®

WATCH | President Obama Addresses 'Fiscal Cliff'

Friday, November 09, 2012

At 1 p.m. Friday afternoon, President Obama will make his first comments on economic policy since the election. The president is expected to address the "fiscal cliff" the nation will face in January.


The Brian Lehrer Show

30 Issues: Tax Cuts vs. Tax Reform

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

30 Issues in 30 Days is our election year series on the important issues facing the country this election year. Today: How individual and corporate taxes — and potential changes to their rates and distribution -- impact the economy. Visit the 30 Issue home page for all the conversations.


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It's A Free Country ®

Explainer: Will Mitt Romney Raise Taxes on the Poor? What About Obama?

Friday, August 03, 2012

A new study finds that Mitt Romney’s partially detailed tax plan would necessarily increase the tax burden on low- and middle-income Americans while lowering tax rates for the wealthiest.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Business Can Counteract Washington Gridlock

Monday, March 19, 2012

Both parties are becoming more and more ideologically pure each year, making the gap between them larger and larger. Not even the most liberal republican is in the same area of the political spectrum as the most conservative republican.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Explainer: Corporate Tax Rates

Friday, February 24, 2012

President Obama has proposed overhauling the corporate tax structure, lowering the rate and eliminating loopholes. Peter Coy, economics editor for Bloomberg Businessweek, explains. 

Comments [12]

The Empire

'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter

Friday, January 20, 2012

Today on "The Capitol Pressroom":

Analysis of the Governor’s budget address featuring AP Capitol Editor Michael Gormley & Bloomberg News’ Freeman Klopott.

Prison guards are not feeling the love from taxpayers these days. Donn Rowe, the president of the union that represents them, NYSCOPBA, joins us to discuss the groups new public awareness campaign as well as how the closure of upstate prisons is effecting safety.

According to attorney Michael Kink, it’s not only the millionaires who are getting away with paying less than their fair share: It’s the corporations too. We speak with Kink, the Executive Director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition about specific corporate tax loopholes he would like to see address during this session, and which legislators he will be holding accountable.

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The Empire

Many voters say it WAS a tax hike, but they love Cuomo regardless

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The majority of New York voters seem to think Governor Andrew Cuomo can do no wrong. According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, the Governor's approval rating stands at 68 percent--the highest he's scored with Quinnipiac during his first year in office.

And this despite 40 percent of voters believing the recent tax reform package engineered by Cuomo was indeed a tax increase. It was a tax decrease for 28 percent of those polled, a more than a third said they weren't sure. When asked how they thought it would affect their taxes, 43 percent also said they were unsure.

“Whatever they think about the tax deal, New Yorkers still love their governor. Andrew Cuomo’s job approval hits a new high, higher than we’ve seen since the post-9/11 approval ratings for Gov. George Pataki,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in the report.“Voters like Gov. Cuomo as a person 65 – 13 percent and they like his policies."

And this despite the fact that nearly half of those polled--47 percent--believe the Governor did not keep his promise to not raise taxes. Additionally, 42 – 23 percent, with 35 percent undecided, believe Cuomo broke his promise to end government by "three men in a room."

“That transparent government that Gov. Cuomo promised? Opaque is more like it. A lot of voters think that, in the quickie tax deal, Cuomo broke his promise to end Albany’s tradition of ‘three men in a room,'" Carroll said.

Yet, despite all this, 63 percent of those polled gave Cuomo either an "A" or a "B" as a grade on his first year as Governor.

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The Empire

Cuomo knocks Albany corruption, defends tax reform in radio interview

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Courtesy of the Governor's office.

In a wide-ranging interview with the New York Post’s Fed Dicker, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his impression of his past year in Albany while looking forward to the next session, which begins in January.

“If you look at what we laid out in the campaign--if you look at what we said we were going to do versus what we did – I think it’s fair to say we had a very productive year," the Governor said.

He went on to laud the state legislature for its efforts (or willingness to accept his, depending on how you look at it) as well before turning to a number of high-profile topics. Here are the highlights:

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The Empire

In Cuomo's tax reform package, sweetners for everyone

Monday, December 12, 2011

A small and mostly overlooked item in the tax reform package passed provides another example of how the Governor aimed to give everyone a stake in the passage of the tax reform bill last week.

Among the authorizations was $1 million to keep a foreclosure program funded. The main proponent of the program has been Senator Jeff Klein who leads the Independent Democratic Conference in the State Senate.

“This was a good first step that will help keep some of these vitally important programs running as many New Yorkers enter the holiday season not only facing the prospect of losing the American Dream, but also facing limited options for help during  foreclosure process,” Senator Klein said in a statement.

Klein went on to advocate for the program's inclusion in next year's budget. According to his office, the program prevented more than $1.9 billion in lost property value and property tax revenue over the past two years.

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The Empire

Cuomo signs $250 million MTA payroll tax roll back bill

Monday, December 12, 2011

Courtesy of the Governor's office.

With Jim O'Grady

Following up on the first two pieces of his economic package passed last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo today signed into law a $250 million cut to the MTA payroll tax. The tax had been a consistent target of suburban lawmakers.

“Small businesses are New York’s growth engine and this tax reduction will help create jobs and get our state’s economy back on track without jeopardizing funding for the MTA,” the Governor said in a statement.

Today’s signing was held at a high school in West Hempstead, where Cuomo shared the stage with dozens of local elected officials who've been trying to repeal the tax since it passed in 2009.

“The MTA payroll tax has been particularly burdensome on Long Island," he said, before predicting that the tax cut would spark an “economic rebound” in Nassau and Suffolk Counties—along with the ten other counties served by the authority.

According to the Cuomo’s office, 289,000 businesses with annual payrolls below $1.25 million will see the tax disappear, while more than 6,000 businesses with payrolls between $1.25 and $1.75 million will see their payroll tax cut by as much as two-thirds. An estimated 414,000 self-employed workers will also see their taxes lowered by the measure.

The new measure would also make elementary and secondary schools–both public and private–exempt from the tax, which won praise locally from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers. The Governor has said that the state will pick up the quarter billion in funding for the transit authority lost through the tax cut.

“The MTA Payroll Tax has been damaging our economy and restricting the growth of quality jobs in New York,” Long Island State Senator Lee Zeldin said in a statement. “Repealing this tax for all small businesses and schools, and reducing the rate for others, spurs real economic development, and helps put New York State on the path towards prosperity.”

Transit advocates expressed concern after the bill’s passage that the state has reneged in the past on promises like the one Cuomo is making to shore up the MTA's budget, and that it's led to steep fare hikes and service cuts like those seen in 2010.

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The Empire

ICYMI: Cuomo's slow boat on transit

Monday, December 12, 2011

WNYC's Andrea Bernstein tried to divine Governor Andrew Cuomo's transit vision vis-a-vis the tax reform package passed last week. According to the post featured on the Transportation Nation blog, for those looking for more from Cuomo on public transit "it’s been a season of swallowing lemons."

There were the departures of MTA chief Jay Walder and Port Authority executive director Chris Ward, both seen as transit supporters – and their replacement with Cuomo loyalists Joe Lhota and Pat Foye, neither of whom has a background in public transportation.

There was the introduction of a massive plan to build a new Tappan Zee bridge, with the transit option mysteriously erased at the last minute.

And then: this week, to get his tax bill past the Republicans, the governor had to be willing to throw the MTA payroll tax under a bus, at least partially. Schools and small businesses would no longer have to pay the tax, which plays a vital role in maintaining the transit system.


Governor Cuomo reiterated that assurance Friday: “The state will pay, dollar-for-dollar, whatever amount would have been raised by that tax. So the MTA is held totally harmless — we’re just shifting the source of those funds from the MTA payroll tax to state funds.”

And the governor said no one should conclude from this that he doesn’t care about transit as much as, say, jobs for inner-city youth. “Obviously the MTA is very important to the region’s economy. I’m very excited about my appointee to the MTA, Joseph Lhota — all reports are he’s doing a great job and this will not cost the MTA one penny.”

But the idea of a broke state government being the guarantor of transit funds has left straphangers advocates uneasy.

Check out the rest of the post here.

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The Empire

Headline: News media blasts Machiavellian Cuomo, public checks wallets

Friday, December 09, 2011

Just wanted to highlight something that, in my opinion, is an important reality that the press deals with when covering the Cuomo administration. The tax reform blitzkrieg the Governor waged in Albany this week drew cries of opaqueness and hypocrisy from the press throughout the state.

But as Capital New York's superlatively special correspondent Jimmy Vielkind points out in a Q-and-A with Capital's editor and co-founder Josh Benson, the view from the ground is much nicer than among the airy media class.

Josh: ...The way this deal got done is about as far from Cuomo's stated ideal of transparency as it's possible to be. It makes a mockery of that particular pledge, actually.

But it happened fast. If the governor's calculation here was that the press and some legislators would scream about the lack of deliberation but that the public wouldn't care at all about the process angle, was he wrong? I mean, I ask this with an appropriately heavy heart and all, but have you seen any polls indicating that what people really want from Albany is more deliberation?

Jimmy: No. Our hearts can weigh heavy, but the polls won't capture it.

What people at home will see are a slight decrease in their taxes. They'll see reports of a federal government on the verge of shutdown. They'll see their stock portfolios suffer as the federal credit rating is downgraded. And then for once, after years of seeing their state government stalemated, they see ... stuff getting done.

You can check out the rest of the exchange here.

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