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Critics weigh in on "Tax Free New York"

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released legislation outlining his plan for tax-free zones Monday after spending a week in May touring upstate to build support for the proposal.

"I mean no taxes. That's what I mean when I say tax free - no business tax, no corporate tax, no franchise fee, no income tax," Cuomo told officials at the University at Buffalo.

Under the measure, any new business that sets up on or near a SUNY campus, or at selected private universities or state-owned properties will pay no taxes for up to ten years. After five years, high-wage earners will have to pay income taxes. The locations are mostly upstate.

The plan has come under fire from all sides.  Go to full article
A lot of things will need to come together inside the NYS Capitol to get to an end-of-session deal. Photo: <a href="">Holley St. Germain</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Down to the wire on hot-button issues in Albany

It's getting down to the wire for major pieces of legislation still pending in Albany. As the end of session approaches in Albany, there are no agreements yet on a number of hot-button issues, including women's rights and campaign finance reform.

But that's not unusual in a government where last minute deals are part of the routine.  Go to full article
Aerial view of flooding in Fort Covington. Photo: Ricky Provost, Franklin County EMS

Franklin County declares flood emergency

Franklin County Emergency Services says water from the Salmon River is subsiding, and flooding is becoming less of an issue, but the County remains in a state of emergency. County EMS Communications Specialist Sandra Dunn says seven roads are closed this afternoon, down from 30 closures late Wednesday.

Dunn says EMS Director Ricky Provost and local officials are assessing damages from the high water. They are concerned about the additional rain today because the ground is already so saturated, especially in highly affected areas like Fort Covington. Provost plans to meet with County legislators late today.

Franklin County has declared a state of emergency because of flooding along the Salmon River. Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost says many roads are either closed or partially closed throughout the County. He says Malone and Fort Covington are getting the worst flooding.  Go to full article
The bill would allow NYCO to expand its wollastonite mine onto land that is now part of the Adirondack forest preserve. Photo: NYCO Minerals

Adirondack land swap divides green groups

Lawmakers in Albany have a dwindling number of hours to push through a huge backlog of bills.

One of the most controversial issues still on the table from the...  Go to full article
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli discusses Watertown's fiscal health and his office's new financial "stress test" program Wednesday in Watertown. Photo: Joanna Richards

Comptroller DiNapoli: Watertown in good fiscal health

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli came to Watertown on Wednesday to commend the city's leadership on its sound financial stewardship. DiNapoli's office is rolling out a program...  Go to full article
The nitrogen cycle. Infographic: <a href="">US EPA</a>

Natural Selections: Nitrogen

Our atmosphere is about 80 percent nitrogen. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager explore the ways this common element and necessary component of all life forms interacts with...  Go to full article