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JERRY KASSAR
JERRY KASSAR

The Republicans in the New York State Senate unanimously voted last week for a bill sponsored by State Senator Simcha Felder – a  Brooklyn conservative Democrat who sits in the Republican caucus – that would uncouple your New York State tax return from your federal return, allowing for itemized deductions on your state return.

At present you cannot itemize on your state return. You receive the itemization when you carry the bottom line numbers over from your federal return. This will significantly reduce the negative impact that the federal changes could have on, for instance, a property tax deduction that many New Yorkers had been, but will no longer be able to take, on their Federal returns.

This all goes to the point that several Republican congressmembers from New York State made at the time the federal tax cut was being debated.  When confronted with the charge that the bill would result in your state taxes going up, they argued that it made no sense to defeat a federal reform that will give many New Yorkers a tax cut when New York State has it totally within its power to change its own tax code, preventing any negative effects.

Basically, it is an illustration of the old adage, “Do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

The Felder bill now needs to pass the state Assembly and be signed by the governor in order to become law. The governor and legislature could also include it in their final budget bill which would have the same effect.

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Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis threw a breakfast two Sundays ago on Staten Island that was attended by almost 500 supporters from around the city. That is quite a few people to come out for a 10 a.m. Sunday breakfast.

Although the majority were from the island, there was a contingent from the Bronx led by the GOP chairperson, a large group that came in from all parts of Queens, supporters from Manhattan and a very large group from Brooklyn that included Conservative Party leader Fran Vella-Marrone and GOP Chairperson Ted Ghorra.

State Senator Marty Golden was there and gave glowing remarks about Nicole’s efforts in the mayoral race as well as his long-standing legislative partnership with her. Conservative Party State Chairperson Mike Long spoke as well as Republican State Chairperson Ed Cox. Ed made a point of speaking not only about all Nicole has accomplished, but all he expects her to accomplish in the years ahead.

Congressmember Donovan needed to hang back in Washington doing his job as the federal shutdown was on the table. He was scheduled to speak about Nicole who only the week before had publicly endorsed him for re-election.

Former Republican County Chairperson Leticia Remauro was the master of ceremonies. She referenced a New York Post article that appeared that day which was focused on Nicole’s future.

Nicole in her remarks thanked the assembled group for all their help during last year’s campaign.  She made it clear that she intended to remain active in politics, and will consider new opportunities, but at present was giving her full attention to her job in the Assembly.

She spoke of the importance for New Yorkers to get involved in their communities. She made a point of telling the crowd that she hoped that they could all remain in contact and indicated that she planned to have both social and political events that they might wish to attend.

I have been involved in politics for about 40 years. It is highly unusual to have a Sunday breakfast that is attended by almost 500 people unless you are very much on top of your game. It truly is a feat of strength. Congratulations, Nicole!

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