Andrew Cuomo’s Tax Lament

Sorry, Governor, the ‘double taxation’ in New York is yours.

 
 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference in New York City, Nov. 1.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference in New York City, Nov. 1. PHOTO: SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES
 

Andrew Cuomo must be getting nervous. The Democratic Governor is worried enough about federal tax reform’s impact on New York that he says the new law may be “unconstitutional” and his state may have to “restructure” its tax code. One out of two isn’t bad for Mr. Cuomo.

“We’re going to propose a restructuring of our tax code. I’m not even sure what they [Republicans] did is legally constitutional and that’s something we’re looking at now,” he told CNN on Thursday. “You can change the tax code. You can’t penalize my state because of its political affiliation. There’s never been a double taxation before in the history of the nation.”

Sure there has. States and localities are allowed to impose their own income taxes, and so can the feds since the 16th Amendment was added to the Constitution in 1913. Mr. Cuomo is upset that the feds have now limited the federal deduction for state and local taxes to $10,000, but there’s nothing in the Constitution that says Congress can’t do that. 

Congress isn’t forcing New York to do anything, and the deduction cap is imposed equally on all 50 states. If New York taxpayers are hurt by the new law, the reason is because the Empire State taxes them too much. Nothing is stopping Mr. Cuomo from proposing to fix the New York code so it drives fewer rich people out of the state.

If Mr. Cuomo is serious about tax “restructuring,” he might remember his frequent line from his 2010 campaign when he opposed extending an income-tax surtax and liked to say, “New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation.”

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