Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Gov. Cuomo Sets Course For Reelection Campaign With Tax Cut Gambit

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is hoping to win over some voters upstate with a plan that would cut somewhere from $2 to $3 billion in New York State taxes and fees.
In a surprising announcement scheduled for Wednesday morning, Cuomo will appoint former Gov. George Pataki and former Democratic state Controller Carl McCall to head a task force charged with finding ways to cut between $2 billion and $3 billion in taxes next year, a source with ties to McCall said Tuesday night.

Cuomo wants to announce an aggressive tax-cutting plan as he heads into his reelection run next year.

On the face, this makes perfect sense. New York has a reputation as a high tax state, but when you look under the hood, the tax cuts would do New Yorkers a tremendous disservice. There are several high profile projects around the state that are in dire need of funding, and some or all of the money to be cut would go a long way to funding those projects.

I'm talking about critical infrastructure improvements.

In New York City alone, there's Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway that needs to be funded so that the East Side of Manhattan commuters get relief beyond a stub line. Throw in bridge repairs and infrastructure improvements in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and there's a pretty long list.

Then, there's Gov. Cuomo's pet project - the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement. It's waiting on confirmation of a federal loan program to fund the project, and the state has already borrowed nearly a billion dollars to get the project off the ground.

Upstate infrastructure needs significant investments, including sewer and water treatment facility upgrades, road rebuilding, and bridge repair or replacement.

Instead of cutting these revenue sources altogether, redirect some or all to fund infrastructure projects that will help modernize the state's crumbling infrastructure and to protect its residents from the effects from tropical storms and hurricanes.

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