Friends, the state of our county is good. Our unemployment rate is at 5.1 percent, the lowest in the state. Thanks to the combined efforts of the governor, our county executive and local officials, public-private partnerships are reviving distressed areas and bringing back jobs.
In upstate New York, however, the situation is much more precarious. Last week Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his third State of the State address, and addressed the depression upstate. He promised aggressive tax relief plans to help the struggling manufacturing towns in northern New York.
He also called for the elimination of corporate income taxes for manufacturers north of New York City. Currently, these business owners pay 5.9 percent; Cuomo proposed cutting that rate in half.
These proposals are part of a larger, $2 billion property tax relief package. Cuomo offered a list of initiatives he believes will continue to build on his accomplishments of the past three years, including reducing property taxes over three years for property owners, renters and businesses.
It’s refreshing to see a Democrat propose fiscally conservative policies. Under Cuomo’s leadership, New York state has restored fiscal discipline and reined in out-of-control spending.
Working across party lines, he and State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos have worked to end the crippling deadlock in Albany, and have opened the lines of communication leading to reform initiatives that have the state headed in the right direction.
Taxes have been cut for every New Yorker, including more than 700,000 small businesses that have received exemptions from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll tax. The first-ever property tax cap was passed. Voters approved the casino initiative that will bring jobs and additional revenue to upstate areas that desperately need it.
As a result of these tough fiscal decisions, revenue is up, and there are approximately 380,400 more private-sector jobs. Unemployment is down in every region of the state. This is an immense accomplishment, and Cuomo, his administration, Skelos and many members of the Legislature should be commended.