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Capitol Bureau

When Governor Cuomo convinced the legislature to pass a new temporary income tax surcharge on New York’s wealthiest, it was an abrupt policy change from the anti tax views that the governor had advocated as recently as October. But, As Karen DeWitt reports Cuomo’s reversal will likely do him more political good than harm.

Governor Cuomo, in his first day on the job back on January 1st of this year, laid out his position on raising taxes pretty clearly.

“I say no new taxes, period,” Cuomo said on January 1.

All ten regions competing for economic development money were awarded some portion of $788 million dollars in funds in a ceremony led by Governor Cuomo Thursday, but some regions were more equal than others, with four areas receiving the top grant prizes.   

The ceremony, attended by around 300 people at a theatre in the Capitol complex, was  M.C.’d by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, and featured slick video clips. It had the atmosphere at times of a game show where everyone is a winner.

One day after Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced major changes in the state’s tax code, lawmakers, who are voting on the measure, are busy portraying the deal in the best possible light.

Senators and Assemblymembers were set to vote on bills that would raise rates on New Yorkers earning more than $2 million dollars a year for the next three years, but would slightly lower the tax rates for the middle class permanently.

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders have announced a deal to raise taxes on the rich, and slightly lower taxes for the middle class.

Cuomo, who for months resisted renewing New York’s temporary income tax surcharge on the wealthy, saying it would hurt the state’s competitive edge for business, has now changed his mind.

 He says he and legislative leaders have agreed to once again temporarily raise taxes on the rich, with a new higher tax bracket for those making over $2 million dollars a year.

Talks are taking place behind the scenes on changes to New York’s tax code that could result in the wealthy paying higher taxes.  Governor Cuomo, who is asking for the changes, is also proposing a gambling expansion and  other initiatives which he is asking the state legislature to consider later this week.

 

The New York State Assembly is coming back to Albany next Tuesday  for an afternoon conference, and possibly a special session. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been seeking help from the legislature to close the growing budget deficit.

 

Assemblymembers have been told by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to come back to the Capitol for a 3 pm conference on Tuesday. They will go into session afterward if there’s anything agreed upon at that time to vote on.  

 

The gaps in the New York State budget, for the current year and the new fiscal year, are widening.  Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers are considering a number of options, including a special session, and revamping  the state’s tax code a means of generating more money for state coffers.

Governor Cuomo’s budget office broke the bad news recently.  The budget deficit for the current fiscal year had grown to $350 million dollars, and the projected gap for the new fiscal year would be a $3.5 billion dollar hole, if spending were to take place as planned.

The state’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, says a statewide undercover operation found blatant violations of the state’s law requiring background checks before the sale of a hand gun.

 

A report by a policy think tank finds that 500,000 job opportunities were lost in New York in the three year long economic slump, representing a total income loss of $31 billion dollars a year. 

Protesters at the Occupy Albany encampment say they will no longer provoke nightly arrests by the New York State police, but they do intend to focus on state policy issues, like their opposition to the expiration of a tax on millionaires, set to expire at the end of the year. 

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