Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 12, 2013

Analysis: Cuomo speech ignites supporters on left


Niagara Gazette — "Gone is the tax capital mentality. ... Gone is the anti-business mentality ... replaced with a government that puts politics aside," Cuomo said.

In the fall of 2010, Cuomo campaigned for a cap on the growth of some of the nation's highest taxes. But, he said, tax cuts were only feasible after the fiscal house was in order. Despite declaring that it is, his speech not only promised no tax cuts, it called for billions of dollars in more spending, while offering only three upstate casinos as sources of new revenue.

The speech also included another promise of no new taxes, as he has said since the 2010 campaign. Cuomo broke that pledge in 2011. He raised $1.9 billion in an income tax increase for millionaires while providing a middle-class tax break.

"It was nice that he said he wasn't going to raise taxes, but he said that before," state Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long said. "So you can't really get away with that every year when you break your word ... and if you add up all the big government initiatives he talked about, it's unsustainable."

Meanwhile, state unemployment remains at 7.9 percent, above the national average. The libertarian Cato Institute gave Cuomo a "D'' for tax and spending policies over the past two years. The national Tax Foundation ranked New York 49th in its business tax climate index and projected it would be No. 50 in 2013.

Cuomo also didn't talk about easing the strain on local governments and their taxpayers who are still waiting for the relief from state mandates he has promised for two years.

Further, Cuomo neglected to mention the deficit of at least $1 billion, and prospects that Congress could fall short by billions of dollars in relief for Superstorm Sandy. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli warned this month that New York's massive debt is on track to approach the legal limit in early 2014.

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