Just as it did last year, Eliot Spitzer’s state budget proposes raising revenue partially by closing corporate tax loopholes. But Assemblyman Jim Brennan of Brooklyn, who is also running for city comptroller, isn’t confident in the governor’s approach, because last year’s loophole closures didn’t accomplish the stated goals.
“I expressed some misgivings on relying on these loophole closures,” Brennan told me. “Not because I’m against it. But as a practical matter, corporations minimize their taxes to the maximum extent possible. And it appears that the yield from these law changes has been minimal…they did not raise the $400 million expected. And the governor has another $400 million in corporate tax loophole closures in the budget beginning April 1."
Brennan added, "Philosophically, I’m not against it. I may vote for it. I’m concerned about the reliability of revenue expectations.”
He went on to suggest a different approach. “I think we’re better off with a small increase–a few tenths of one percent–on personal income taxes on people making over $250,000, where not only is it equitable, but we are sure to get the money," Brennan said.