ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing property tax credits for 1.3 million homeowners across the state; and in the Southern Tier, investments of $20 million for clean energy competition and $30 million for farmland preservation and development as part of his 2015 economic opportunities agenda.
Cuomo laid out a $141.6 billion budget that, if passed, would limit state spending to 2 percent, cut small business taxes from 6.5 percent to 2.5 percent, and supply more than $1 billion in state aid to schools contingent on their adherence to stricter performance policies. He also proposed $1.5 billion for full-day pre-K programs for four-year-olds and $25 million for pre-k for high-need three-year-olds.
The governor’s joint opportunities and state budget proposal unveiled in Albany on Wednesday also calls for a $500 million match to leverage $500 million from private investors to increase availability of broadband access in rural New York. More than 500,000 homes and 4,000 businesses in the state currently do not have broadband access, he said.
Since taking office in 2010, Cuomo cited that unemployment statewide has dropped from 8.9 percent to 5.9 percent (2.4 percent in the Southern Tier). Moreover, he said the state government held spending below an average 2 percent for four years, and the tax rate is the lowest it has been in 50 years.
“New York is now a state of opportunity,” he said. “Because we spend less, we can tax less and we have made historic progress in that regard.”
For homeowners, Cuomo put forward a $1.7 billion dollar property tax credit program to provide tax relief. The plan calls for a real property tax credit for households whose property tax burden exceeds six percent their annual income. People with incomes below $250,000 would qualify, and the credit is valued at up to 50 percent the amount by which property taxes exceed the six percent burden threshold.