State Watch

Business leaders warn of consequences to proposed New York tax hikes

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo
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Hundreds of business leaders are voicing concern over proposed tax hikes in New York that they say would jeopardize the state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and the state’s top Democratic lawmakers, the executives express “alarm” over the possibility the state will “enact the largest spending and tax increases in the state’s history.”

“We believe the current budget proposals will jeopardize New York’s recovery from the economic crisis inflicted by COVID-19,” the lawmakers wrote.

The leaders, who include ViacomCBS CEO Robert Bakish, JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chairman Jamie Diamond and Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman, said that members of their workforces have moved out of New York to states with lower taxes and that the proposed tax hikes might make it harder for them to return.

“This is not about companies threatening to leave the state; this is simply about our people voting with their feet,” the business leaders wrote. “Ultimately, these new taxes may trigger a major loss of economic activity and revenues as companies are pressured to relocate operations to where the talent wants to live and work.”

The group urged the state to delay any tax hikes until the pandemic is over.

“A healthy state economy requires a strong partnership between business and government,” they wrote. “We urge you to hold off on major tax and spending changes until the pandemic is behind us and the path to recovery is better defined.”

Lawmakers in New York have proposed tax increases on companies and high-income workers that could reach $6 billion per year in an effort to fund social programs and reduce the wealth gap, CNBC notes.

The news outlet added that Cuomo’s top budget adviser, Robert Mujica, said that the stimulus along with other tax revenue could allow the state to avoid previously planned budget cuts.

Tags Adena Friedman Andrew Cuomo Coronavirus COVID-19 Jamie Diamond JP Morgan Chase Nasdaq New York Robert Bakish

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