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Think tanks recommend income-tax adjustments

Rochester Business Journal
December 4, 2013

An immediate phase-out of the temporary increase in the personal income tax of high-income earners and making permanent the temporary income-tax cuts for the middle class are among five measures that would improve New York’s business climate, two independent think tanks say.

The Empire Center for Public Policy in Albany and the Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C. analyzed state and local tax structures in recommending five priorities to increase New York’s economic competitiveness.

Phasing out the personal income tax increase on the wealthy could reduce the current top tax rate of 8.82 percent to 6.85 percent by 2017, leaders of the two organizations say.

The middle class tax cuts enacted in December 2011 have been extended through 2017.

The groups also recommend permanently indexing the state personal income tax code to inflation, increasing the $1 million exemption of New York’s estate tax to the federal minimum of $5.25 million, and permanently enacting the state’s 2 percent cap on property tax levies.

New York ranks last in the Tax Foundation’s 2014 Business Tax Climate Index.

(c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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