The chief executives of two New York banks will serve on a panel charged with recommending changes to the state's tax code.
Robert Wilmers, CEO of the $81 billion-asset M&T Bank Corporation (MTB) in Buffalo, and Deborah Wright, CEO of the $638 million-asset Carver Bancorp (CARV) in New York City, were appointed Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission.
The governor created the commission in December 2011 to address long-term changes to the tax system and create economic growth. The 10-person panel is charged with reviewing the state's tax policy and recommending ways to eliminate loopholes, promote efficiency and improve collection and enforcement.
"Last year, New York State government successfully passed comprehensive tax reform that put in place a progressive tax and established the lowest tax rate for the middle class in 58 years," Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a news release. "This commission will now undertake a broader review of the state's complex tax code to find ways to make it simpler, and more fair, and help reduce the tax burden faced by New Yorkers and businesses."
Wilmers, who retired as M&T's chief executive in 2005 then returned to the corner office two years later, is well known for voicing his opinion on public policy issues, particularly when it comes to government spending. He is also a former chairman of the Empire State Economic Development Corp.
Wright, who has held the top post at Carver since 1999, previously served as chief executive of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and as commissioner of the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Neither Wilmers nor Wright responded immediately to a request for comment on their appointments.