Assemblymember Steck: 2013-14 State Budget Includes Significant Tax Relief for Middle-Class Families and Increases the Minimum Wage

Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced that he helped pass a balanced, early and fiscally sound state budget that increases the minimum wage and provides significant tax relief for middle-class families (A.3007-D). “This year’s budget brings our hardworking families relief as our economy recovers,” Assemblymember Steck said. “It’s good news for Capital Region families.” Keeping NY affordable for millions of hardworking families To continue providing a fairer tax system in New York, the 2013-14 state budget extends the current tax rate first implemented in 2012, locking in the lowest tax rate for middle-class families in 60 years. Approximately 4.4 million taxpayers – more than 99 percent of those filing statewide – benefited from $690 million in tax relief stemming from the tax restructuring. The budget extends this middle-class tax cut for three additional years and pays for it by requiring those making over $2 million per year – less than 1 percent of all New York residents – pay their fair share. “This multi-year extension is absolutely critical for hardworking families,” Assemblymember Steck said. “The tax structure we implemented helps makes New York more affordable for millions of families statewide, however I feel some of those who earn more are still not paying their fair share. We need a more progressive tax structure in New York.” Increasing the state’s minimum wage The increase to the minimum wage will directly benefit 925,000 New Yorkers currently earning below $9.00 an hour, which is over 10 percent of the state’s employed population.i A worker making the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour earns just over $15,000 annually if they work 40 hours per week for all 52 weeks in a year. Under the new law, minimum-wage earners working full time would earn about $16,640 beginning Dec. 31, 2013; roughly $18,200 beginning Dec. 31, 2014; and roughly $18,720 beginning Dec. 31, 2015. The Assembly Majority has led a strong fight to increase the minimum wage, voting twice this year to raise it to $9.00 per hour. The issue has become a hot-button topic nationally, and with over 80 percent of New Yorkers showing their support for an increased minimum wage,ii the Assembly delivered the results that hardworking families expect and deserve, Assemblymember Steck noted. “People who work full time shouldn’t struggle to put food on the table and clothes on their backs,” Assemblyman Steck said. “While this is a step in the right direction, the minimum wage must to be tied to the rate of inflation – which I will work to do – otherwise, we will run into this issue again several years down the road.”

ii. Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, January 31, 2013