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Republican State Senators Unveil Plan To Protect New York Taxpayers

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The fight to protect New Yorkers feeling taxed out from the federal tax plan got another player on Tuesday, as state senate Republicans unveiled a strategy designed to cut taxes and keep the state affordable.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, 190,000 people moved out of New York in 2017 driven, in large part, by high taxes.

"We want to make sure that we are really sending a clear message about protecting taxpayers and middle class people in the great state of New York," State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said.

The new proposal has a grab bag of initiatives to lower property and income taxes, reduce energy taxes, and make New York more affordable for seniors so they won't seek greener pastures for retirement.

Senate Republicans want to double the pension income exempt from state taxes from $20,000 to $40,000. It's a move they say would save seniors $275 million. Additionally, they hope to freeze school property taxes for seniors, a move that aims to save $48 million.

"We will be fighting for those New Yorkers we hear from every single day who are struggling with high taxes, with the high cost of living in our state," Senate Finance Committee Chair Catherine Young said.

For those coping with high utility costs, there's also a proposal to eliminate the gross receipts tax on residential gas and electric bills, saving taxpayers $190 million when fully implemented.

The proposals set the senators on a collision course with Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is not only up for reelection this year but also eyeing a possible White House run. As a result, he wants to be seen as the big kahuna of tax cutters.

In his state of the state speech last week, he said he was looking to rewrite the state tax code to find a work around to help New Yorkers hurt by changes to the federal tax system.

"I don't like the payroll tax at all," Flanagan said. "People pay enough taxes already."

Team Cuomo is reportedly still wrangling over just how to deal with the tax problem. The governor said he will offer more details when he unveils his new budget in ten days.

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