Taxes in New York (TiNY) is a blog by the Hodgson Russ LLP State and Local Tax Practice Group members Chris Doyle, Peter Calleri, and Zoe Peppas. The weekly reports are intended to go out every Tuesday after the New York State Division of Tax Appeals (DTA) publishes new ALJ Determinations and Tribunal Decisions. In addition to the weekly reports, TiNY may provide analysis of and commentary on other developments in the world of New York tax law.

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Posts from April 2024.

Before getting into the cases, let us acknowledge that the better-late-than-never politicos in Albany have passed the 2024-25 New York State Program Budget and it has already been signed by the Governor. The Governor stuck to her “no increased tax rates on the wealthy” position even in the face of strong head winds produced by the leadership in the Assembly and Senate. Good for her. Look: She understands that New York can impose higher taxes on the wealthy, but that New York can’t compel the wealthy to pay those taxes when they may be avoided by moving to Florida, Tennessee, or Texas. And she understands it is relatively easy for the wealthy to move to states where they can pay less.  So much less than a few years’ worth of tax savings for a moderately high-income person is enough to buy a really nice house in south Florida. Thank goodness there are still some in Albany who consider taxation a pragmatic endeavor.

There are two Determinations and two Orders this week. Of the three timies, two were resolved against the Division, which is statistically unusual. The other case involves the State’s dubious sales tax acceleration rule for motor vehicle leases. This case shows another instance in which New York is unjustly enriched by the lease rule which, in operation, results in New York collecting sales tax on lease payments even when the vehicle is registered outside of the State for extended periods during the lease. That’s just wrong.

And this week TiNY continues on its mission to disprove the adage that “sarcasm is the lowest form of wit” by offering a pun that would fit easily under the belly of even the most gravity-bound sarcastic comment.    

Eclipse mania was dampened at TiNY’s editorial offices by the presence of clouds. In Western New York, we were supposed to enjoy a spectacular view of the totality for several minutes.  But after two days of nothing but clear skies, the clouds moved in to darken the skies before the eclipse could darken the skies. And then, two hours after the event, bright sunny skies again. So, yeah, another situation in which Western New York approached the pinnacle only to be beaten down in the last moment. Add “cloud-obscured” to “thirteen seconds,” “wide right,” and “no goal.”

Two orders and one determination this week. The two orders are atypical timies. The determination is a typical timy.   

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