Governor Cuomo’s tax rebate check is being viewed by many as an election season gimmick designed to purchase votes, with one lawmaker even laughing on the Assembly floor as he discussed the topic.
They say timing is everything, but it pales in comparison to using taxpayer dollars to try and buy a vote.
Via the Times Union:
The season of giving is coming early for more than a million New Yorkers — in the form of a child tax credit.
The first batch of $350 “Family Tax Relief Credit” checks went out in the mail on Tuesday, according to state officials. And the checks will continue rolling out well into October, which means they will land in recipients’ mailboxes just weeks before Election Day.
Included in this year’s budget, the credit is expected to go to about 1.2 million state taxpayers. About $400 million in checks are due this year in the $1.2 billion three-year program.
While the money will be welcome news for eligible families, critics say the payout represents a textbook example of tax policy bent to the service of politics.
The credit is available to families with adjusted gross incomes between $40,000 and $300,000 who had at least one child under age 17 during the 2012 tax year or later.
State Assemblyman Steve McLaughling (R) couldn’t contain his laughter on the floor of the Assembly as he described it as a “convenient check right before the election.”
In fact, the checks will be mailed instead of the usual, modern day electronic methods available. Nothing like a palpable gift in your hand to make you pay attention.
The $410 million in rebates, at $350 each means just under 1.2 million paper checks will be mailed out to taxpayers.
In the video clip, it is also noted that Democrats have failed to calculate how much that would actually cost.
Syracuse.com however has a report out that the tax rebate check will actually cost New York $1.2 billion over the next three years.
The $350 rebate checks going out to certain taxpayers with children will cost $1.2 billion over the next three years, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
The latest estimate of the cost of the rebate plan is $410 million a year.
The info comes from a chart that Cuomo’s office put together showing the savings to taxpayers under the proposed 2013-14 budget.
Another one of those “savings” items, however, is actually an extension of a tax that was supposed to go away. Because the tax will be extended at a lower rate than Gov. Andrew Cuomo first proposed, however, the difference is being counted as a savings of $813 million over the next four years.
The biggest savings on the list are the rebate checks. Those savings will hit just 1.3 million families.
The first of those checks should arrive in mailboxes just a few weeks before Election Day 2014, when all state legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are up for election.
One should never doubt Governor Cuomo. The timing of this has to be coincidental. This program was two years in the making, and there is not a chance it has anything to do with an election.
Bear in mind however, that this program is nothing more than your tax money being handed back to you. It is not a gift from New York, the Governor, or otherwise. It is your own money.