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Candidate calls for reformed tax code

With the federal tax deadline just days away, Senate candidate Wendy Long was in Buffalo Saturday calling for tax reform, saying that New Yorkers need a simpler, fairer, less expensive tax code.

"This is a good time to reflect and pause on what we really need," Long said at a news conference held in front of a local tax preparation office on Main Street in Buffalo.

"We need a pro-growth, pro-jobs tax code," said Long, a Manahattan attorney vying in a three-way GOP primary battle to see who will challenge incumbent Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand in November.

Long denounced the "Buffet Rule," which would raise taxes on millionaires, as an election year gimmick that gives liberals and other big spenders cover.

"It's just another excuse for Washington to spend more," she said. "What New Yorkers need is a simpler, fairer tax code that strips away loopholes and doesn't require a battery of tax attorneys to prepare. It just doesn't make sense to raise taxes on hard-working innovators and job creators, on employers and small family businesses, while leaving in place all the complicated loopholes that benefit D.C.-connected special interests who are expert in tax avoidance," she said.

Quoting Ronald Reagan, Long said it wasn't a matter of Americans being taxed too little, but of the federal government spending too much.

"Sen. Gillibrand and her liberal friends in Washington have endorsed raising taxes to pay for more government programs, but what we need is to lower the effective tax rates for all Americans, eliminate costly loopholes and rein in spending," Long said. "That's the way to get our economy back on track and spur job creation and investment.

"What it really goes to is jobs," she said. "The government doesn't create jobs. Small business creates jobs."

Long said the Buffett Rule is "just another tax hike," and that the additional revenue raised would barely run the federal government for one week.

"The way to grow the economy is to leave more money in the hands of small business, families and employers, who are the ones who create the jobs," she said.

Long is one of three candidates competing for the Republican nomination in a primary June 26. The other candidates are Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos and Rep. Bob Turner of Queens.