Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fourth State of the State address at 1:30 p.m. is expected to focus on property-tax relief and boosting the upstate economy in part through tax-free zones.
We reported today that the speech will have a message of fiscal austerity and tax cuts with liberal social issues, such as the legalization of medical marijuana.
The 1:30 p.m. speech near the Capitol will be centered around his plans to cut property and business taxes in one of the highest taxed states in the nation.
“Over the past three years, we have made unprecedented progress toward curbing the rise of taxes and government spending in New York, transforming a state budget with a $10 billion deficit to a $2 billion surplus,” Cuomo said in a statement Monday.
Cuomo on Monday detailed a $2 billion plan to freeze property taxes for two years and then tie property taxes to household incomes. It was coupled with an array of business tax cuts for companies, including upstate manufacturing firms.
Cuomo is also going to discuss the development of his tax-free zones near college campuses that was approved by the Legislature last June. The program started Jan. 1 and would allow businesses to pay no taxes for 10 years if they set up near college campuses — particularly upstate.
“You can’t beat zero,” Cuomo said Monday.
The Democratic governor will also be looking to walk a balance between appeasing Republicans who share control of the Senate with Democrats who run the Assembly and mainly represent New York City. He is seeking a second term in November.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, on Tuesday said his office is evaluating Cuomo’s tax plan and whether the state can afford it. Cuomo is banking on a $2 billion surplus within three years to pay for the package.
Silver said the plan needs to be equitable and include New York City homeowners. It already included a renters’ rebate.