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Mayor Miner Calls on Katko to Meet with Constituents Before Voting on Republican Tax Bill

By Staff –


PHOTO: Daily Orange

PHOTO: Daily Orange

Mayor Stephanie Miner has written a letter to U.S. Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) urging him to meet face-to-face with his constituents before voting on the Republican tax bill.

A vote on the bill is scheduled for Tuesday.

“This bill gives major tax breaks to the wealthiest individuals and corporations in the United States while short-changing working families and the state of New York,” Mayor Miner stated. “Leaders must take time to meet their constituents, to hear their concerns, and vote with the need of their communities. I urge Rep. Katko to make time to meet with Central New Yorkers before the vote happens.”

Mayor Miner, a Democrat, has cited the repeal of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, massive tax cuts for corporations, and a nearly $1.5 trillion addition to the deficit as her reasons for concern with the legislation.

Miner and Rep. Katko have been at odds over the legislation lately, and last week the mayor held a town hall meeting, which nearly 200 residents attended to voice their opinions on the matter.

Read the full text of the mayor’s letter below.

December 18, 2017

Hon. John M. Katko

House of Representatives

440 South Warren Street, Ste. 711

Syracuse, New York 13202

Dear Rep. Katko:

This week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a major overhaul of America’s tax code. This legislation, which is thousands of pages, impacts the personal economics of every American. Our constituents are rightfully concerned that this bill could have a serious impact on their healthcare, higher education costs, and property taxes. The full text of this bill has just come out from the conference committee. I am writing to urge you to take time to meet with our constituents in Central New York, hearing their concerns and answering their questions before you vote on this bill.

What is clear is that this bill will cut taxes for the top income earners and large corporations dramatically, with early reports suggesting the top tax rate for individuals will be reduced from 39% to 37% and the tax rate for corporations will be reduced from 35% to 21%.[1] Cutting this rate, while politically popular, will not create jobs and stimulate the economy. According to former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, this legislation will not spur further investment in the economy as major corporations are sitting on $2.3 trillion in cash reserves.[2] In fact, according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, tax cuts such as these contribute little to economic growth but propel income inequality.[3]

In exchange for these generous public benefits being given to the largest corporations and wealthiest individuals in the United States, what are Central New Yorkers receiving? That is not clear.

One of the top concerns raised is the repealing of the individual mandate. By doing this, Congress risks collapsing the insurance marketplace, sending premiums for people in need skyrocketing and causing thousands to lose their healthcare. Repealing the fundamental underpinning of “Obamacare” should not be done through a back door in tax legislation.

Major employers in Central New York are preparing for negative impacts. Saab Defense and Security USA, which has announced it was moving more than 250 jobs into the area, expressed serious reservations about whether or not it can continue to do so given the tax plan.[4] The eliminated or reduced deductibility for state and local taxes has an impact on all New Yorkers, especially those who want to expand businesses and attract top talent from other states. 

What reducing the SALT deduction and eliminating the healthcare mandate do not pay for: House and Senate Republicans have chosen to put the remainder of the bill on a credit card for the next generation to pay. This bill would add nearly $1.5 trillion to the federal budget deficit over ten years – assuming the tax cuts for individuals expire within that time frame, a budgetary gimmick to ensure the bill complies with Senate rules[5].

This bill has garnered bipartisan opposition because of the disastrous impacts it will have on New York State. Your Republican colleagues from New York City and Long Island, Reps. Daniel Donovan, Peter King, and Lee Zeldin, have come out strongly against the bill. Rep. Zeldin said, “On balance, this bill remains a geographic redistribution of wealth — taking extra money from a place like New York to pay for deeper tax cuts elsewhere.”[6]  I would encourage you to hear the concerns of your colleagues and follow in their steps, putting New Yorkers before the needs of party leadership.

Over the last several weeks, my office has received numerous calls from our shared constituents in the city of Syracuse asking important questions about this legislation, which will impact Central New York families and businesses for decades to come. While these are tough questions, the people of our community deserve answers. Before you vote on this bill, I urge you to come and meet with our constituents to discuss its impacts.


Stephanie A. Miner

Mayor of Syracuse

[1] “What We Know About the Final Draft of the GOP Tax Bill,” Levitz, Eric. New York Magazine. Dec. 15, 2017.

[2] “This Tax Bill is a Trillion Dollar Blunder,” Bloomberg, Michael R. MSN Money. Dec. 15, 2017.

[3] “Taxes and the Economy: An Economic Analysis of the Top Tax Rates Since 1945,” Hungerford, Thomas. Congressional Research Service. Sept. 14, 2012.

[4] “Defense firm moving 260 jobs to Syracuse says GOP tax plan may scare away top talent,” Weiner, Mark. The Post-Standard. Dec. 11, 2017.

[5] “Final GOP tax bill would increase deficits by just under $1.5 trillion, early congressional estimate says,” Pramuk, Jacob. CNBC. Dec. 15, 2017.

[6] “Why GOP Tax Plan could mean cuts in state, local services,” Boak, Josh. Associated Press.  Dec. 17, 2017.

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