Among the ideas, more illegal closed door meetings by democrats, income-tax surcharge on those earning more than $200,000 a year, casino gambling, talked in recent weeks about using union-funded pensions as a way to help finance road and bridge projects, such as the reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge in the Hudson Valley, seeing NYS has a seperate fund for roads and bridges which the unions have gutted…I guess using their pensions would be some compensation, though not enough …
ALBANY — In an op-ed piece Sunday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a plan to spur job growth as the state Legislature is scheduled to return to Albany this week to address the state’s worsening fiscal condition.
The proposal includes the creation of an infrastructure fund, the legalization of casino gambling and a jobs program for inner-city youth.
“Our goal in New York should be twofold: to fashion a job-creating economic plan and to defy political gridlock like we see in Washington and make government work to actually implement the plan,” the first-year Democratic governor wrote.
“I believe there is a path forward for New York.”
Cuomo wrote briefly about what will be the most controversial part of his plan: reforming the state’s tax code. His opinion piece, released Sunday and scheduled to be published today in newspapers across the state, doesn’t spell out specifically the cost of his plan or how he would pay for it.
He doesn’t say how he would change the tax code, saying: “An effective way to stimulate the economy and promote job creation is through our tax system. We should pursue comprehensive reform of our tax code to make it fair, affordable and one that incentivizes economic growth.”
Economic development plan from Gov. Cuomo: Faced with more state budget deficits, Gov. Cuomo proposes economic development plan including more casino gaming
He is expected this week to call for higher income taxes on millionaires and for middle-class tax cuts — and use some of the revenue to fund his job-creation plan. Assembly Democrats have estimated that higher income taxes on those earning more than $1 million would raise about $2.8 billion a year.
Gambling also would raise revenue for the state, but the earliest the legalization of casino gambling could take place is 2013. Cuomo has hinted in recent months that he was considering the legalization of casinos.
To legalize casinos, the state Legislature would have to approve changes to the state constitution in two consecutively elected legislatures — either this year or in 2012, and then again in 2013 when a new Legislature is seated. Then it would have to be approved by voters in November 2013.
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The state has casino gambling on five Native American reservations in parts of upstate, but not privately owned facilities.
The state has nine racetracks with video-lottery terminals, but those facilities do not have table games, such as blackjack and roulette.
Cuomo said the state should create destination gaming locations, writing: “Through this plan, we can promote job creation and recapture revenue that is currently being lost to other states.”
Cuomo could either let the state’s racetracks add table games, something they are heavily lobbying for, or designate certain areas of the state, such as the Catskills, to have privately owned casinos.
The state Legislature is scheduled to return to Albany as early as Tuesday to address the state’s midyear $350 million budget gap and Cuomo’s agenda. The state faces at least a $3 billion budget gap in the next fiscal year, which starts April 1.
Assembly Democrats are slated to hold a closed-door conference on Tuesday. Senate Republicans will return Wednesday.
Cuomo has yet to call for a special session or detail the legislation he would want lawmakers to adopt.
“The Senate Republican conference will meet Wednesday at noon in Albany to discuss a number of issues, including our commitment to cutting taxes to create new private sector jobs. At this time, however, no session has been scheduled,” said Scott Reif, spokesman for Senate Republicans.
Gannett’s Albany bureau reported last week that some Republican senators have warmed to the idea of keeping higher income taxes on the wealthy to find revenue for specific economic goals, such as fixing the state’s infrastructure and closing its budget gap.
Senate Republicans and Cuomo earlier this year closed a $10 billion budget gap by cutting spending and without raising taxes. Cuomo and Republicans have vowed to let an income-tax surcharge on those earning more than $200,000 a year expire at year’s end. The tax was enacted in 2009 under then-Gov. David Paterson and the Democratic-controlled Legislature.
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Cuomo proposed Sunday to create a “New York Youth Works” program to provide job training and employment opportunities for inner-city youth, saying unemployment rates among the group is as high as 40 percent. He said the state would offer tax credits to employers who hire inner-city youth.
Cuomo said an infrastructure fund would finance the repair of roads and bridges, saying the fund would promote public-private partnerships with business and unions.
The governor has talked in recent weeks about using union-funded pensions as a way to help finance road and bridge projects, such as the reconstruction of the Tappan Zee Bridge in the Hudson Valley.
Cuomo also said the state should adopt a second round of funding for its regional economic development councils. The 10 councils, formed earlier this year, are vying this year for a pot of $200 million in grants for local projects. The winning projects are to be announced Thursday in Albany.