New York governor wants to spend more on
education, lower taxes
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[January 18, 2017]
By Hilary Russ
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Governor
Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday proposed a $152.3 billion all-funds state budget
for fiscal 2018 that would increase education funding by $1 billion and
cut tax rates for 6 million middle-class residents, extending a
"millionare's tax" to pay for them.
His plan, released to the public on Tuesday night during a televised
news conference, would also dedicate $2 billion to water infrastructure
over five years and $650 million to life sciences research over the same
period, proposals he made in a series of speeches earlier this month.
The budget would spend an additional $750 million on economic
development programs, $567 million on Medicaid and $163 million to help
provide free college tuition for families earning less than $125,000 a
year, an idea Cuomo called a "national precedent in college
He would lower the different tax rates on households with incomes under
$300,000 for an average savings of $250 next year and $700 annually once
fully phased in.
To offset those costs and close the state's $3.5 billion deficit, other
state spending would remain flat and he would keep for three more years
an 8.82 percent tax rate on individuals making more than $1 million a
year, or about 45,000 people.
The millionaire's tax falls mostly on those living and working in and
around New York City, the region's primary source of economic activity,
said Partnership for New York City Chief Executive Officer Kathryn Wylde
in a statement.
That rate that is "higher than almost any of our domestic and global
competitors when it comes to attracting talent and jobs," she said.
Of the total budget, $98 billion is from state funds, or 1.9 percent
more than fiscal 2017 - within Cuomo's 2 percent spending growth cap.
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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his State of the State
address in New York City, U.S. January 9, 2017. REUTERS/Stephanie
New York's fiscal year begins April 1. Rather than make a
traditional budget address to the legislature, Cuomo met privately
with groups of lawmakers earlier in the day.
Cuomo continued his push to build more infrastructure, saying he
planned to discuss the topic with President-elect Donald Trump on
Wednesday when the two men are scheduled to meet.
He said New York currently has about 500 infrastructure and economic
development projects underway.
His love of infrastructure took an artistic turn when he proposed
"illuminating all the bridges in New York City with different color
lights," then choreographing them to music.
"Nothing like this has been done on the planet," he said.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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