When I read Governor Cuomo’s recent column regarding tax reform, I was disappointed to see his negative attitude toward lowering taxes for hardworking people. For far too long, people of the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, and Western New York have been burdened with one of the highest tax bills in the country. Rather than join our efforts to provide tax relief for upstate families, the governor simply, and dishonestly, called me a traitor. Governor, it’s time to put down the sword and stand with all people in New York, not just the city.
If Governor Cuomo wants to protect tax breaks for his wealthiest friends downstate at the expense of the rest of us, we’ll just let that stand for what it is. For years, the governor and others have shouted that the one percent needs to pay their fair share. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, that was introduced in the House Thursday, does just that. It ensures the top one percent continue to pay the most. It keeps the top income tax rate of 39.6 percent while ensuring lower rates and keeping the deduction for property taxes for the middle class. This compromise will ensure that a family of four with an income of $42,000 will see a tax cut of $1600. This is a win.
I’m going to continue doing the people’s work to make sure they get to keep more of their hard earned dollars. When people get to keep more of their paychecks, it means money for things that make a difference for hardworking people. It’s a down payment on a car for a factory worker in Hornell, daycare for a young family in Elmira, or a trip to Disney World for a family in Dunkirk. Seniors can now visit their grandkids who were forced to move out of state because of the unreasonable tax burden in New York State. This is important to folks in our area. That’s who I am working for and I will continue to carry their voice to Washington.
I will always stand with and protect the hardworking taxpayers of our region. I have heard the voices of those from Jamestown to Owego to Geneva, and the message is clear: people deserve a tax cut. This legislation will deliver on that. I call on Governor Cuomo to do the same thing in Albany. All New Yorkers need a tax cut and they deserve it from both the state and federal government. If the governor commits to lower the tax rates at the state level, I will work with him to get that done. The problem isn’t the deduction on federal taxes. The problem is the crushing burden of New York state taxes.
No one wants to hear partisan bickering. It’s unproductive and unnecessary and in no way fixes the problems we face as a country. We have a once in a generation opportunity to drastically reform our broken tax code. Here’s the truth: this bill reduces taxes for nearly everyone in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes. Anyone who tells you differently isn’t being honest. If standing for lower taxes for 99 percent of people gets me called a traitor, so be it. It’s time the government reduce taxes and return hard earned dollars back to the people who worked for it. The time for tax reform is now.
So let’s put party aside and get this done. Upstate New York deserves it.
Rep. Tom Reed of Corning is the 23rd District congressman.