Cuomo creates bipartisan commission for lower taxes, headed by his father’s old foe

cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expecting the commission to come up with strategies to lower taxes in time for his 2014 State of the State agenda.
Credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

Already planning for his 2014 State of the State agenda, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has put together a committee to figure out how to lower taxes for New Yorkers.

The Tax Relief Commission, comprised of budget experts from the public and private sectors, is tasked with issuing a report by Dec. 6 of this year that will provide the governor with specific recommendations for lowering taxes.

Notably, the commission co-chairs are former State Comptroller Carl McCall and former Gov. George Pataki, the Republican who defeated Cuomo’s father and who is rarely aligned with the governor.

But Pataki complimented the governor on his approach to economic policy “during the last few years in Albany.”

“Governor Cuomo has demonstrated that when elected officials put politics asie and work together they can deliver results,” Pataki said.

And McCall said that under Cuomo, the state economy “is in the best fiscal shape it has been in in years,” and credited “the Governor’s constant efforts to control spending and bring jobs to New York.”

Though New York has long been seen as a high-tax state, the past three annual state budgets have kept state spending to two percent or below, and the Cuomo administration cut automatic inflators that were responsible for increases in Medicaid and education spending. The state government workforce was also cut from 137,000 employees to 120,000 and pension reform measures put in place by this administration are expected to save taxpayers $80 billion over the next three decades. The past three state labor contracts are also expected to save taxpayers $450 million. Working families now get a $350 tax credit, and an initiative known as START-UP NY established tax-free communities on state college campuses to lure start-ups and businesses.

But Cuomo is expecting the commission to do more, specifically for homeowners, renters and businesses. So far, some ideas floated include property tax cuts and business tax cuts geared at promoting new jobs.

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat


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