State will sue to block federal tax overhaul

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state will take Washington to court to challenge the new Republican tax overhaul, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, calling the new law an unconstitutional assault on states’ rights and New York in particular.

The lawsuit is one of several ways Cuomo, a potential 2020 presidential contender, is positioning New York to lead the opposition to President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans. He’s also calling for the state to push back on federal attempts to curb environmental protections, immigration and health care spending.

“Our federal government is working to roll back so much of what we have done,” he said in his annual state of the state address to lawmakers in Albany. “We cannot, we must not let those things happen.”

The new tax law caps a deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000, a move that will increase federal tax liabilities for many homeowners in high-tax states like New York. Cuomo says the change could increase tax liabilities for some New Yorkers by as much as 25 percent, potentially prompting an exodus to cheaper states and making the state less competitive economically.

While many top Republicans in New York object to the provision too, Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan was skeptical about Cuomo’s plans for a lawsuit.

“I don’t see a legal basis,” he told reporters, adding that Cuomo is too focused on policies coming out of Washington instead of improving the state’s own business climate.

While Democrats in other states have mentioned potential legal action, New York would be the first state to take such aggressive action, potentially elevating Cuomo’s statute as a leading progressive voice against Trump.

“This is a smart and important move by the governor and his administration,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who has often feuded with Cuomo. De Blasio said some 600,000 New York City residents will see their taxes go up an average of $5,000 a year under the changes.

Cuomo also announced plans to sue opioid manufacturers for allegedly violating rules on the monitoring and reporting of suspicious drug shipments. He said any money obtained from the legal action would go toward efforts to fight the scourge of addiction.

“They pumped these pills into society and they created addictions,” Cuomo said. “Like the tobacco industry they killed thousands… We will make them pay.”

New York faces a $4 billion deficit and must also absorb $2 billion in recent federal health care…

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