Assembly passes tax bill

As predicted, the Assembly joined the Senate in passing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax overhaul just past 1am this morning, Daily News reporter Ken Lovett writes. But it wasn't quite the same unanimous lovefest:

Unlike in the Senate, where the vote was unanimous, the Assembly had more dissent from the Republican minority. Many GOPers complained the tax increases on the wealthy would hurt the state's business climate.  Some called the tax cuts for the middle class a pittance, with one saying it won't cover the cost of a tank of gas per month. Others complained about the closed-door nature of the negotiations.

More background on the new tax code (including a link to the bill itself).

A must-read story from Thomas Kaplan in today's New York Times: How Cuomo got a major tax overhaul through the Legislature without holding a single public hearing. Love or hate the new tax brackets, the level of secrecy in Cuomo's Albany is chilling. A snippet:

At a pub near the Capitol on Tuesday night, a Republican state senator asked a reporter for details about the business tax credits that would be provided by the tax package. “We don’t know anything,” he said.

“I think it’s as bad as you can get in terms of reneging on a promise to be more open, more transparent,” said Assemblyman James N. Tedisco, a Republican from Schenectady. “Pretty soon they’ll just say, ‘Stay home, and just send in your votes when we bring the bills out.’ ”

Also from the New York Times: Michael Powell dubs Cuomo "Governor Mesmerizer."

Through it all, the governor remains an intriguing piece of work. He insists he is a progressive, except when he insists he is a fiscal conservative, except when he insists he is not so easily categorized.

Perhaps it’s best to describe the governor as someone who believes that government has a role to play in people’s lives, and who is very willing to cut a deal to accomplish that.

Correction: We initially credited the Daily News item above to Celeste Katz. (Probably because it's her name on the big banner across the top of their Daily Politics blog.) Ken Lovett, you are duly credited.