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Gov. Cuomo and Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack launch StartUpNY on Long Island Tuesday. Photo: Governor Cuomo facebook feed
Gov. Cuomo and Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack launch StartUpNY on Long Island Tuesday. Photo: Governor Cuomo facebook feed

New York launches tax-free business zones

New York's plan to attract new business and jobs to the state by offering them tax free space at public colleges is underway. Officials Tuesday outlined for the first time specifics about how the program will work. The Innovation Trail's Ryan Delaney reports.  Go to full article
A team of rivals: Gov. Cuomo (center) has appointed former Gov. George Pataki (left) and former NY Comptroller H. Carl McCall (right) to the New York State Tax Relief Commission. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewcuomo/10057755464/">Office of Gov. Cuomo</a>.
A team of rivals: Gov. Cuomo (center) has appointed former Gov. George Pataki (left) and former NY Comptroller H. Carl McCall (right) to the New York State Tax Relief Commission. Photo: Office of Gov. Cuomo.

Cuomo taps Pataki, other former rivals for tax panel

Governor Cuomo is appointing a new tax cutting commission that he's charged with finding ways of slicing state revenues by $2 to $3 billion dollars next year.

Cuomo turned to the man who beat his father in the 1994 governor's race, George Pataki, to co chair the commission. Pataki, a Republican, defeated Mario Cuomo on a platform that included tax cuts.  Go to full article
Progressive groups wanted to testify at the Senate committee's hearing on tax breaks. From left to right, Colin Donnaruma, Occupy Albany, John Whitely, NYS Property Tax Reform Coalition, Ron Deutsch, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness , Micheal Kink, Strong Economy for All Coalition, Gioia Shebar, Tax Nightmare.org. Photo: Karen DeWitt
Progressive groups wanted to testify at the Senate committee's hearing on tax breaks. From left to right, Colin Donnaruma, Occupy Albany, John Whitely, NYS Property Tax Reform Coalition, Ron Deutsch, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness , Micheal Kink, Strong Economy for All Coalition, Gioia Shebar, Tax Nightmare.org. Photo: Karen DeWitt

NY's special tax breaks draw yeas and nays

Republicans in New York's state Senate held a hearing on how to cut taxes in the state. The finance committee's agenda focussed on whether some targeted special tax breaks are worth the loss of revenue.

Meanwhile, some groups complained that they'd been unfairly excluded from the discussion.  Go to full article
Photo: NYS Senate
Photo: NYS Senate

Cuomo wins some, loses some at end of session

Deals have been reached between Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders on siting new casinos and creating tax free zones at college campuses. But a bill on abortion rights was struggling, and reform measures appear dead for the session.  Go to full article
Tupper Lake isn't alone in its struggles.  Newcomb Superintendent Skip Hults is struggling to find cuts that balance his school's budget while garnering enough political support in his tiny community. NCPR file photo
Tupper Lake isn't alone in its struggles. Newcomb Superintendent Skip Hults is struggling to find cuts that balance his school's budget while garnering enough political support in his tiny community. NCPR file photo

General Brown, Minerva, Newcomb, Tupper Lake pass school budgets

Four school districts across the North Country saw their budgets approved by voters yesterday in a second round of balloting.

General Brown, Minerva, Newcomb and Tupper Lake all saw their first spending plans rejected last month, in part because they exceeded the state property tax cap.  Go to full article
New York state's Senate chamber. The Senate has one week to approve home rule legislation long sought by St. Lawrence County. Photo: JvL, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
New York state's Senate chamber. The Senate has one week to approve home rule legislation long sought by St. Lawrence County. Photo: JvL, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Bill that could raise SLC sales tax passes Assembly

Home rule legislation that would allow St. Lawrence County to raise its sales tax by one percent passed in the New York State Assembly Thursday. County legislative chairman John Putney says the bill now needs Senate approval.  Go to full article
Farmer John Peck, of Peck Homestead Farm in Champion, in Jefferson County, is worried about how steadily rising property taxes are affecting his livelihood. Photo: Joanna Richards
Farmer John Peck, of Peck Homestead Farm in Champion, in Jefferson County, is worried about how steadily rising property taxes are affecting his livelihood. Photo: Joanna Richards

Could the two percent ag land tax cap hurt non-farmers?

New York farmers are closely watching the fate of a bill in Albany that would cap assessments of their land at a two percent increase per year. That's compared to the current 10 percent per year.

Agricultural land is assessed according to the crops growing on it. And corn and soybean prices have been soaring. But lots of farmers might not see profits from those high prices, and many say they're paying a lot more in taxes, without taking in a lot more money.  Go to full article
Potsdam mayor Steve Yugartis. Photo courtesy Steve Yugartis.
Potsdam mayor Steve Yugartis. Photo courtesy Steve Yugartis.

Potsdam cautious on Cuomo's tax free zones

Governor Andrew Cuomo and his cabinet are on the road for a second week, pushing hard on a proposal to create tax-free zones for businesses that set up shop on or near public college campuses in New York.

He's due in Plattsburgh this morning. Cuomo's Deputy Secretary of State, Dede Scozzafava, has already visited SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh to pitch the plan.

At the initial announcement in Albany last week, Cuomo said the tax free zones will boost the struggling upstate economy. "It doesn't cost us money," he said. " It's not an investment in tax dollars. It's stopping the collection of tax revenues. So I think it is exactly the type of approach the state needs to take."

The plan would provide a 10-year abatement of all taxes...sales, property, corporate, state income taxes and fees - for the business and its employees.

Legislative leaders have not yet said they'll support the proposal. Monday, the governor called a group of local leaders to Albany Monday to ask for their help in convincing state lawmakers it's a good idea.

Steve Yugartis is Mayor of the Village of Potsdam. He wasn't in Albany for the meeting. He says he doesn't know much about the plan, and considering the village's existing tax free properties, he's cautious about adding more.  Go to full article
Map showing all SUNY campuses in New York. Source: NYS
Map showing all SUNY campuses in New York. Source: NYS

Cuomo's tax-free zones draw mixed reviews

Governor Cuomo has been traveling the state promoting a plan to allow new businesses to go tax-free for up to a decade if they locate near a State University campus. The plan, which is yet to be drafted into bill form, has raised some questions.

Governor Cuomo has been to several key upstate cities in recent days, promoting a plan to declare tax-free zones around state college campuses, in hopes of attracting new businesses.  Go to full article

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