Andrew Cuomo demands wealthy pay more, less in taxes in coronavirus relief

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As Congress signed off on means-testing coronavirus relief, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo demanded Thursday that lawmakers restore a tax break that primarily benefits middle- and upper-income residents in his and other blue, high-tax states.

Mr. Cuomo also said lawmakers should pay for relief by increasing taxes on the wealthy and that New York deserves a disproportionate amount of state and local aid because it was hit the hardest by COVID-19.

He said Congress needs to repeal a cap on the state and local tax deduction that was part of the 2017 GOP tax-cut law — a move that would primarily benefit middle-to-upper income households.

“Every day SALT is not repealed costs New Yorkers almost $34 million. It must be repealed now,” Mr. Cuomo said in a letter to New York’s congressional delegation.

He also said to the extent the federal government needs revenue to pay for COVID relief, “it should raise taxes on the wealthy.”

“New York deserves a disproportionate amount of COVID relief because New York suffered a disproportionate amount of damage,” he said. “By any metric, New York would receive a larger proportional share of President Biden[‘s] $350 billion in state and local aid.”

Mr. Cuomo released his missive shortly before the U.S. Senate voted 99-1 to approve a non-binding amendment to bar upper-income taxpayers from receiving direct payments in the next round of federal coronavirus relief.

The governor is under renewed fire after a report from New York Attorney General Letitia James released last week found that his administration likely undercounted coronavirus-related deaths in nursing homes in the state.

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