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16 Dec
0

Albany Tax Deal: A Start, But Far From Done

By Liz Krueger

In another whirlwind session in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed through a new tax plan that will generate $1.5 billion in much needed additional revenue for the state. I supported the plan because that revenue will make it easier to balance the budget without devastating cuts to education, health care and social services, and because it creates a more progressive tax structure than we would have if we did nothing. But there is also plenty to be critical of, both in terms of the minimal progressive reform to our tax structure and the record-breaking 26 minutes the Legislature and public had to review the contents of the package.

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15 Dec
0

lgbtSr Interview: New York State Senator Liz Krueger

By Mark McNease

I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with New York State Senator Liz Krueger. Senator Krueger has been in the New York Senate since being elected in a Special Election in 2002. She is currently the Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee and is a member of five other committees.

I receive Senator Krueger’s events emails and was aware that seniors and the aging population are among her signature issues. She was also the second person to sign on to the New York marriage equality bill, back in 2002, just behind the bill’s original sponsor, Senator Tom Duane. I had the chance to speak with Senator Krueger and get her responses on some questions about issues we face in aging and about LGBT equality, specifically marriage now that it’s legal in New York State. Many thanks to Senator Krueger for taking the time to speak with me.

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14 Dec
0

The Fracking Future

Posted by Our Town on December 7, 2011

Hundreds attend hearing on controversial drilling process

By Marissa Maier

“Ban Fracking Now” was the rallying cry for about a dozen downstate lawmakers before a Nov. 30 hearing on the drilling procedure, held at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, though a few acknowledged the long odds in pressuring Governor Andrew Cuomo to keep the industry out of the state.

Hundreds of citizens turned out for the last of four hearings on whether to lift the current ban on hydraulic fracturing. Politicians like Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh and even a few celebrities, like actors Debra Winger and Mark Ruffalo, joined a protest outside of the venue an hour before the start of the hearing.

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13 Dec
0

Testimony of State Senator Liz Krueger Before the New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings Regarding Intro 404 to Increase the Fines Levels for Illegal Hotel Violations

My name is Liz Krueger and I represent the 26th Senate District, which includes the  East Side and Midtown areas of Manhattan.   I want to thank Chairperson Erik Martin Dilan and the members of the City Council Housing and Buildings Committee for providing me with the opportunity to testify today in support of Intro 404, which I believe is a critically important piece of legislation.

The proliferation of illegal hotel operations has removed thousands of affordable apartments from an already tight housing market, disrupted the lives countless permanent residents who live in the buildings where the illegal hotels are operating, decreased the revenue the City receives from hotel taxes, and ruined many tourists’ visits in New York.  The internet has made it easier than ever to advertise illegal hotels, which are residential units that are designated under the New York State Multiple Dwelling Law and City zoning rules as permanent residences but are improperly used as transient hotel rooms.  Even a brief search of the internet reveals hundreds of advertisements for illegal hotels.  Housing advocates estimate that there are many thousands of these units being operated in more than 300 buildings across New York City, primarily in Manhattan and North Brooklyn but increasingly in other areas as well.  Building owners and third party managers convert residential units, the majority of which are located in buildings with rent-regulated and Single Room Occupancy tenants, into illegal hotel units in order to make more money on the apartments than the law allows.

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08 Dec
0

Session Concludes on Bipartisan Note

By RICK KARLIN

ALBANY — The day after its unveiling, state lawmakers on Wednesday approved an overhaul of the state’s income tax brackets in a way that provides a modest measure of middle-class relief, but increases rates for the state’s wealthiest residents.

“This is the best path for this state at this time,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said after the Senate passed the measure 55-0; the Assembly passed it later in the evening. “The more you make the higher rate you pay. That I believe is fair.”

The package, with middle-class tax cuts but higher rates for those earning more than $2 million a year, was brought forward after Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos hammered it out in classic three-men-in-a-room fashion.

And while it raises less money than some would like, the measure included elements that offered something for everyone — so much so that even the most conservative lawmakers heaped on the praise.

“Today we’re ending, hopefully, the 2011 legislative session on a really positive note,” Skelos said.

“This was one of our best moments,” said GOP Sen. Jack Martins of Long Island, who noted that it resulted from bipartisan agreement.

“The brackets are better. We need the revenue,” said Manhattan Democratic Sen. Liz Krueger, who voted aye while expressing concern at the extreme speed that sent the legislation through the chamber. Barely an hour after the second 33-page piece of legislation in the package was printed, it had been passed by the Senate.

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08 Dec
0

Behind Rapid Deal on Taxes, Stealth Maneuvering by Cuomo

By Thomas Kaplan

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo first notified the public that he wanted to revise New York’s income tax Sunday afternoon, with e-mail sent to the state’s newspapers, offering them an essay in which he mentioned “comprehensive reform of our tax code.”

Just two days later, the governor announced that he and legislative leaders had agreed on an overhaul of the income tax; that day, he summoned lawmakers back to Albany, and the next day, Wednesday, he invited them to a party before they had seen the measure or voted on it.

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07 Dec
0

Krueger: Cuomo’s Tax Plan Will Encourage Liberal Legislators to Push For More

By Azi Paybarah

Yesterday, I talked to State Senator Liz Krueger, a liberal and a tax wonk, about the emerging details of the governor’s tax plan. What her take boiled down was that if the tax code were reorganized to redistribute the overall burden more progressively that would be good; but if the overhauled system didn’t yield revenue for the state, that would be bad.

By those criteria, the plan announced today by Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders would be mixed news. It will bring the state an additional $1.9 billion in revenue, according to the announcement. That’s on the strength of increased taxes on the highest-earning New Yorkers.

However, the new revenue isn’t even half of the revenue that’s going to be lost from the impending expiration of the “millionaire’s tax” surcharge, and still leaves a large projected budget shortfall next year, which will have to be addressed either through spending cuts or by finding alternative streams of revenue.

On balance, Krueger isn’t satisfied.

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06 Dec
0

Liz Discusses Gov. Cuomo’s Tax Proposal with WNYC’s Brian Lehrer

Senator Liz Krueger, who represents Manhattan’s 26th district in the New York State Senate, reacts to reports that Governor Cuomo will propose a higher tax rate for high income earners.

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06 Dec
0

Cuomo’s Tax Plan to Raise Taxes on Rich May Not Go Far Enough For Some Dems

By Azi Paybarah

Andrew Cuomo is negotiating his tax plan in private meetings with lawmakers. But the broad outlines of a new tax structure have begun to take shape, and could determine how much support the governor’s plan gets from fellow Democrats.

Will it raise enough revenue to compensate for money the state loses when the millionaire’s tax sunsets? Thomas Kaplan notes Democrats and labor unions are pushing for that.

Fred Dicker and Erik Kriss have some details suggesting it won’t. Cuomo, according to their reporting, is pushing for new rates higher than the permanent rate of 6.85 percent, but lower than the temporary “millionaire’s tax” of 8.97 percent.

As Democratic State Senators Liz Krueger and Diane Savino discussed yesterday, sharing the tax burden is one thing, bringing in more money to fund state programs, is another.

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05 Dec
0

Liz Krueger, ‘Nixon Liberal,” Worries Cuomo’s Tax Plan Just Tinkers With The Real Problem

By Azi Paybarah

If Andrew Cuomo makes adjustments to the state tax code that shift more of the burden from poor people to rich people without necessarily generating any more overall revenue for the cash-strapped government, is it truly progressive?

State Senator Liz Krueger, a liberal Democrat from Manhattan who wrote her master’s thesis on tax policy while at the University of Chicago, thinks not.

“The state needs the money,” Krueger told me Friday. “I think it’s imperative we not cut services for the neediest New Yorkers when demands are skyrocketing.”

“Once you decide you’re going to change the [tax] brackets, you can finesse in any direction,” she said. “My concern, after sort of having walked this through with the governor and then heard him actually talk about changing the brackets, or one of his people saying it, is you can do it neutral. You can do it tax-neutral: people earning more pay more, people earning less, pay less, but have a neutral outcome so that the changes you make within those brackets translate to no additional income in the state of New York.”

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