As his fourth State of the State address approaches, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday rolled out a $2.2 billion plan to cut taxes in New York over the next several years, a proposal that is a contrast to the push to raise taxes on the rich in New York City. Our Nick Reisman has more.
NEW YORK STATE -- "We want to make a powerful statement this is a different New York, this is a different time, and if you want to give New York a second look and you think we're high cost, you're exactly wrong," said Governor Cuomo.
Cuomo's tax cuts would impact homeowners, renters and businesses in the state. But the call to cut taxes through a potential $2 billion surplus comes as newly elected New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio backs a surcharge on those making $500,000 and more in order to fund universal pre-kindergarten. Cuomo backs expanded pre-K, but stops short of backing the tax hike.
"I believe we'll get there on that goal. Once we get there on that goal the question becomes how we're going to pay for it and that becomes a broader conversation with the Legislature when everything else is on the table," Cuomo added.
There's support for the tax hike plan among Assembly Democrats
I think the mayor will go around and make the case to the business community of the benefits to pre-K and after school," said Sheldon Silver, Assembly Speaker.
And Senate co-leader Jeff Klein, a Bronx Democrat who shares power in the chamber with Republicans who have generally opposed tax hikes.
"We give localities all over the state the ability to raise taxes. Every year we do increases in the sales tax, in the mortgage recording tax. Why should we allow Mayor de Blasio to have that same control over his locality, the city of New York?" said Jeff Klein, Senate Co-President.
Senate Republicans meanwhile in a statement praised the governor's tax cut plan. The push for tax cuts at the governor's first news conference of the new year comes after reports over the weekend surfaced Cuomo will allow for the use of medical marijuana, albeit on a limited and cautious basis.
"I feel comfortable with this approach. You know, medical marijuana, I understand the upside, I understand the downside. If you look at some states that have done medical marijuana, you see the downside clearly. So there's pitfalls," Cuomo went on to say.
So 2014 is less than a week old and it's already shaping up to be a complicated year for Governor Cuomo. And of course, it's an election year for him and all 213 members of the Legislature. But Cuomo says he doesn't expect election year politics to complicate things.
"I think it is somewhat simpler as we all know more about each other and about the process," Cuomo said.