NEW YORK Jan 6 New York state Governor Andrew
Cuomo said on Monday he would back proposals to cut taxes in the
state by $2 billion over the next three years.
Cuomo, a Democrat who is up for re-election this year, said
he is trying to reduce the tax burden on families and shed the
state's image of a burdensome destination for business.
New York state ranks low in surveys of taxation and ease of
doing business. The state came last in a recent report by the
Tax Foundation that faulted "complex, non-neutral taxes with
comparatively high rates."
"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.
The proposals mirrored the December findings of a state tax
commission set up by Cuomo. They include a two-year freeze on
property tax, an increase in the estate tax threshold, lowering
corporate taxes and phasing out a surcharge on utilities.
The proposals call for a cut in corporate tax from 7.1
percent to 6.5 percent, its lowest level since 1968, and the
elimination of taxes for manufacturing firms in upstate New
Cuomo will include the proposals in his yearly state of the
state address in the state capital Albany on Wednesday.
The two-year freeze in property tax will account for about
half of the projected $2 billion tax cut, which is premised on
producing a budget surplus over the coming fiscal years.
Delivering a $2 billion surplus in the 2016-2017 financial
year will depend on maintaining a 2 percent cap on spending
increases, a promise that could prove challenging.
Cuomo will deliver his budget proposal to the legislature
later in January. Lawmakers need to agree on a budget by the
start of the state's fiscal year on April 1.
"Any proposal should be premised on a principle of
fairness," said Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver. "It is
important that we have the resources necessary to fund vital
health and education programs."