Items tagged with 'taxes'

New York State will soon exempt tampons from sales tax

one tamponThe Cuomo admin announced Thursday that Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that will exempt tampons and other related items from state and local sales tax.

The bill passed earlier this past May after being sponsored by Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) in the Assembly and Sue Serino (R-Hudson Valley) in the state Senate. From the bill memo:

New York State exempts certain items from state sales tax, including drugs and medicine, medical equipment and certain medical supplies as well as prosthetic aids. Feminine hygiene products, such as tampons, sanitary napkins and panty liners, are an undeniable necessity, yet they are subject to sales tax.
This bill would correct the fundamental imbalance that currently existing in New York State by exempting certain feminine hygiene products, including but not limited to, sanitary napkins, tampons and panty liners from sales and use tax.

The Cuomo admin figures the sales tax exemption will collectively save women in the state $10 million a year. It's set to take effect September 1.

There's been a push in many states recently to exempt tampons and similar items from sales tax. Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have already done so, and Connecticut is scheduled to do so 2018. And a few other states are moving in that direction. [Providence Journal]

Comparing Capital Region property tax rates

town colonie tax sections map

This map doesn't really show anything beyond how complicated listing tax rates can become. As you know, the bold-outlined area is the town of Colonie. Each of the sections within the town depicted above have a different entry in the tax rate listing because of some different combination of town, village, or school district.

The cities of Schenectady and Albany have the highest property tax rates in the Capital Region, according to numbers shared this week by the Empire Center.

The tax rates are for 2013 and include county, city/town, village, and school district taxes. The think tank also figured median tax rates by region around the state. And in that category, the Capital Region did well -- it had the state's lowest median at $24.68 per $1,000 of value. (The Empire Center didn't include New York City or Nassau County on Long Island in that review.)

As has been highlighted in years past, there's wide variation in tax rates around the Capital Region.

Here's the whole list, sorted and ranked...

(there's more)

Taxable sandwiches and other foods that are taxed, unless they're not

hannaford_rotisserie_chicken_cold_in_case.jpg

These roasted chickens aren't taxed because they're cold. But if you tried to buy one as it came out of the roaster -- taxed.

Sometimes things are just hilariously (and also frustratingly) complicated.

We were thinking about that today after Jon Campbell said on Twitter of the state Department and Taxation and Finance's web page explaining that sandwiches are taxable: "Is this the best page on an NYS website? Yes. Yes it is."

One of the subheads from that page: "What is considered a sandwich."

And thus we fell into the rabbit hole of what sorts of foods are -- and are not -- taxed by New York State.

A few somewhat mind-warping examples...

(there's more)

If you could move from New York, would you?

gallup poll 2014 release moving from states

Noted: 41 percent of New York State residents said they would like to move from the state when asked by a Gallup poll, the results of which were published this week. Specifically, the question asked of respondents was: "Regardless of whether you will move, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move to another state, or would you rather remain in your current state?"

The Empire State's 41 percent ranked as a tie for 6th highest with New Jersey and Massachusetts. Top of the table: Illinois (50 percent), Connecticut (49 percent), Maryland (47 percent), Nevada (43 percent), Rhode Island (42 percent). The states with the lowest percentage, at 23 percent, were: Montana, Hawaii, and Maine. The national average was 33 percent.

(there's more)

Don't skip that letter about the STAR exemption

star exemption registration notice

From the boring-but-important file: If you own a home and get a Basic STAR property tax exemption (and most people do) you need to register with the state tax department by the end of this year -- or lose out on the tax break for next year. Here's the online registration link.

The registration requirement is part of legislation for the most recent state budget -- it's aimed at cutting down on people claiming inappropriate exemptions. After registering this year, it won't be necessary to register again. As the state Department of Taxation and Finance explains: "based on the information provided in the registration process, the Tax Department will monitor homeowners' eligibility in future years."

The tax department announced this week that it's sent out 320,000 letters to homeowners getting the Basic STAR exemption in northern and eastern New York, so you'll probably get a letter soon, if you haven't already. (We got ours today.) The registration requirement doesn't affect the Enhanced STAR exemption for senior citizens.

The Basic STAR exemption exempts the first $30k of the full value of a home from school taxes, so it can be worth hundreds of dollars. It's available to owner-occupied, primary residences where the resident owners' and their spouses income is less than $500,000.

Think tank: New York has the worst business climate in the nation because of taxes

tax foundation state business climate ranks fy 2013

The Tax Foundation, a "non-partisan tax research group", has released its annual "business climate" index -- and New York State is at the bottom.

How the index is compiled:

The State Business Tax Climate Index, now in its 9th edition, collects data on over a hundred tax provisions for each state and synthesizes them into a single easy-to-use score. The states are then compared against each other, so that each state's ranking is relative to actual policies in place in other states around the country. A state's ranking can rise or fall significantly based not just on its own actions, but on the changes or reforms made by other states.

Why New York is at the bottom:

Despite moderate corporate taxes, New York scores at the bottom this year by having the worst individual income tax, the sixth-worst unemployment insurance taxes, and the sixth-worst property taxes.

Here's the index profile for New York.

The other members of the bottom five, in ascending order: New Jersey, California, Vermont, Rhode Island. The top five, in descending order: Wyoming, South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, Florida.

The full report is embedded after the jump.

It's no secret that New York could have lower taxes -- the property taxes alone in some municipalities are crushing. But just out of curiosity, we thought it might be interesting to compare the Tax Foundation's list against a list GDP per state...

(there's more)

Cuomo and legislative leaders say they have a deal to restructure state income tax

Thumbnail image for NYS Capitol from ESPAndrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced today that they've reached a deal to restructure the state's income tax.

The Cuomo admin is touting the restructuring as an attempt to "restore fairness to the tax system." Basically, it makes the tax structure more progressive -- that is, the more a person makes, the higher their rate. The admin says 4.4 million New Yorkers will get a tax cut under the new structure.

So, if you're under $300,000 (and more than $40k), you would get a tax cut under this arrangement. Above $300k, your taxes are going up (compared to the rate from a few years back). [NY Post]

As usual, it's little (or a lot) more complicated than that. The bracket breakdown in the press release doesn't really tell the whole story because it doesn't include the temporary personal income surcharge ("millionaire's tax") that's currently in effect -- the TU's Jimmy Vielkind has put together a spreadsheet that makes it a bit more clear.

The Cuomo admin says the new structure generates $1.9 billion in additional revenue for the state -- though that's about $2 billion less than what was generated by the "millionaire's tax", which expires at the end of this month. [NYT] [TU CapCon]

The deal announced today also includes funding for infrastructure projects, support for a constitutional amendment to allow full casino gaming, grants for flood recovery, a few other initiatives.

If you're thinking to yourself: "Wait, did I miss the part where this was all discussed and debated publicly?" The answer is: no, of course not. This is New York.

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