By Jon Campbell, Albany Bureau
ALBANY -- A year after it was first unveiled, a panel tasked with brainstorming long-term fixes for New York's tax code is beginning to take shape.
Former state Comptroller Carl McCall and Peter Solomon, the founder of New York City-based investment advisory firm Peter J. Solomon Company, have been tapped by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to co-chair the New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission, according to a list obtained by Gannett's Albany Bureau.
The commission was formed as part of a December 2011 deal to tweak the state's tax brackets, an agreement that came while Cuomo and the Legislature were under pressure to prevent an added tax on the state's top earners from expiring at the end of the year. That deal included a new bracket for those making more than $2 million annually, which expires at the end of 2014.
Cuomo made a total of ten picks for the panel, including M&T Bank CEO Robert Wilmers, state Taxation and Finance Commissioner Thomas Mattox and James Parrott, deputy director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. The conference leaders in the state Legislature are also expected to make selections, but those picks haven't been made public yet.
Last year, Cuomo's office signaled the commission will be asked to undertake "a comprehensive and objective review of the State's taxation policy, including corporate, sales and personal income taxation and make revenue-neutral policy recommendations to improve the current tax system."
The commission appears to have grown from the initial announcement. Originally it was slated to have 13 members, with seven selected by Cuomo.
Advocates for permanent reform to the state's tax code had been left wondering what had become of the commission earlier this year since its membership hadn't been named. Cuomo's office had said a list of members would be come by the end of October -- but Superstorm Sandy hit, causing billions in damage to downstate New York and occupying much of the state's focus.
McCall, who bested Cuomo in a 2002 gubernatorial primary, was selected by the governor last year to be chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees.