Executive budget presented at Hudson Valley

Pat Gareau, Creative Editor


Leaders from the community gathered at Hudson Valley on Thursday, Jan. 23 for a presentation of Governor Cuomo’s executive budget. President Drew Matonak, Assemblyman John McDonald and Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia were among those in attendance.

New York’s Commissioner of Parks, Recreation, and Historical Preservation, Rose Harvey, outlined this year’s budget with a slide show.

“Everything [Cuomo] does is about opening the job market, especially for youth, who have the highest unemployment rate,” said Harvey.

“There is a clear focus for relieving the tax burden for job creating entities,” said McDonald.

Upstate New York has historically had a thriving manufacturing sector, but in recent years has lost thousands of jobs to outsourcing and lower tax states.

The budget addresses the full scope of government, spending a total of $137.2 billion.

Budget Highlights

Tax Relief – The budget proposes decreased corporate income tax rate (from 7.1 percent  to 6.5 percent), a freeze on property taxes, lowering the estate tax and extra relief for manufacturers in upstate New York. Under Cuomo’s plan, manufacturers would have no income tax and receive a 20 percent credit on property tax.

Education – Cuomo’s plan funds universal preschool, updates the technology of public schools and incentivizes teachers with bonuses. The plan would also provide full tuition for any student in the top 10 percent of their graduating class that enrolls in a science, technology or math degree program and agrees to spend five years working in New York.

Emergency Preparedness – After the major storms in recent years, Cuomo would like to invest in an updated weather detection system, fund the training of a citizens responder core and create a SUNY school for emergency preparedness.

Public Trust Act – Ethics reforms proposed by Cuomo last year are included in the budget, including new anti-bribery and corruption laws, mandatory disclosure of outside income for legislators and a public campaign financing system.

Local Aid – The budget incentivizes consolidation of services at the local level as a way to save money by creating economies of scale.

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