Local state reps respond to Governor’s agenda

ALBANY – State legislatures representing the Chenango County area took a largely positive attitude toward the State of State Address given by Governor Andrew Cuomo in Albany on Wednesday.

While the Governor’s 2014 agenda encompasses a myriad of issues, such as education reform, investment in infrastructure and continued emphasis on New York State tourism, a bulk of it focuses on providing tax relief – something local state representatives say has been a priority for the Chenango County area for years.

“Overall, he offered a solid message,” said Senator Tom Libous (R-Binghamton) in a phone interview Wednesday. “The opportunities that we can best grasp are the tax cuts, manufacturing tax cuts, and encouraging tourism throughout the state.”

The Governor’s plans for tax relief revolve around a $2 billion state surplus by 2016-2017 that will be used to provide tax relief for homeowners and businesses. His proposal offers a two-year property tax freeze for homeowners, subject to two conditions: the taxing jurisdiction must adhere to the state mandated 2 percent tax cap in the first year, and adhere to the tax cap while also taking steps to share services or consolidate with another jurisdiction in the second year.

In addition, the Governor proposed providing tax relief based on ability to pay for households earning up to $200,000 via a property tax “circuit breaker.” This move would offer $1 billion in tax relief when fully phased in, he said.

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