Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Senate Republicans: We are the 99 percent

ALBANY – After more than a year of insisting they’d take part in no effort to raise taxes, Senate Republicans were jumping on board this morning with a plan to bring in more than $2.5 billion in income tax levies by taxing rich people in New York.

“For 99.8 percent of New Yorkers, this is a great deal,’’ Sen. Thomas Libous, the deputy majority leader, said this afternoon about the $700 million in tax breaks for people making between $40,000 and $300,000.

“Middle class families. That’s what I’m here for," said the Binghamton Republican.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has promoted, among other things, raising taxes on the top 1 percent of income earners, and their chants from lower Manhattan to Albany to Buffalo have often included “We are the 99 percent.’’

For a couple making $50,000 a year, the tax break will be worth about $200 in the 2012 tax year.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Long Island Republican, had an interesting spin when asked about past vows that the Senate would not hike taxes: “We’re cutting taxes. Maybe (Assembly Speaker) Shelly Silver is raising taxes, but we’re cutting taxes."

The Legislature’s top Republican made the comments to a few reporters outside his office as GOP lawmakers were getting ready to eat a catered lunch and discuss the specifics of the bills they will pass this afternoon.

The focus, Skelos said, should be on the tax cuts for moderate income families, as well as special tax breaks on a payroll tax on downstate businesses. He noted the deal is also supported by all the major business lobby groups. “The job creators are telling us this is the right way to go,’’ he said.

As for hallway chatter that the Legislature may have sought to include a deal on redistricting – the process of re-drawing all legislative and congressional district lines – Skelos said there were no such agreements.

“That’s a question you’ve asked, and I say this in a nice way, for the last eight months on anything that’s occurred, and there’s no deal on redistricting," Skelos said.

--- Tom Precious

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

Subscribe

Advertisement