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Cuomo's tax relief proposal gains support in central New York

Ellen Abbott
CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson; MACNY president Randy Wolken; Dewitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko; Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon; and taxpayer Robert Delorenzo, of Clay, discuss Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax relief proposal.

Central New York business leaders are very supportive about the latest tax reform plan coming out of Albany, and are lobbying for implementation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $2 billion tax relief proposal.

For CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson, January is usually a time he and other business leaders start playing defense; fending off budget proposals from Albany that include higher taxes and fees, and more government spending. But with the governor’s tax proposal on the table, it’s time to play offense.

“I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to start this year with an opportunity," Simpson said. "Not just to not have to play defense, but to work proactively with members of the legislature and the governor’s office to reduce that tax burden, to try to reclaim some measure of economic competitiveness in New York State and put people back to work.”

Simpson says the reform plan attacks some of the tax issues that have kept business away from New York state.

"What we’re talking about here in these current proposals that the legislature and the governor seem to agree in large part on is broad based tax reform," Simpson said. "It's not lowering taxes or creating incentives for one business over another, or one section of business over another, it’s cutting the tax rate across the board for property tax owners and for businesses in New York state.”

The package of tax cuts would cut the corporate income tax rate to the lowest it’s been since 1968 and make dents in property taxes for upstate manufacturers.

Randy Wolken, president of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, says these tax proposals are needed to attract businesses and manufacturers to the Empire State.

“The whole thing is to be competitive to be in the same conversation," Wolken said. "And that’s what we’re now hearing. Companies are considering being in New York, when in the past they didn’t even consider being here.”

The tax package also would freeze property tax bills for two years, which is why Bob DeLorenzo, a postal worker from Liverpool, also joined a news conference supporting Cuomo's plan.

“Taxes that exist now are just crushing people," DeLorenzo said. "They’re having to make decisions about what to do with what little disposable income they have. With this proposal to freeze property taxes for two years, it’ll provide relief to people to use the money where they really need to use the money, and that’s at home with their family.”

Currently, New York state has the highest real property taxes in the country.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.