The stated purpose of this hearing is to evaluate the impact of New York’s business taxes on equity and economic growth. These are laudable concerns: the most basic questions to ask about any corporate break are whether they are allocated fairly, and whether there’s any reason to think they will help create jobs in New York, so I welcome the chance to discuss existing and proposed tax breaks in this context.
My testimony will focus first on what we know about the magnitude of corporate tax avoidance under current law. I’ll then briefly discuss the benefits—and the limits—of the important “combined reporting” reforms recently enacted by New York, and will also discuss several especially problematic tax breaks in the state’s current corporate tax law. Finally, I’ll discuss the important question of whether corporate taxes should be considered to have a measurable impact on economic development.