In his 10th State of the State Address on Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo revisited some past proposals including legalization of recreational marijuana and announced some new ones including borrowing $3 billion to complete environmental projects across the state.
Cuomo also proposed cutting taxes on small corporate taxpayers from 6.5% to 4%, a proposal that would reduce taxes for an estimated 36,000 small businesses across the state.
Business Council of Westchester Executive Vice President and COO John Ravitz, who attended the speech in Albany, applauded the tax cut, but warned that the Governor must address a growing budget gap and Medicaid deficit.
“A tax cut for small corporate taxpayers is welcome news and will help to stimulate job growth,’’ said Ravitz. “However, The BCW urges the Governor and the State Legislature to address the state’s $6 .1 billion deficit and the $4 billion deficit in the state’s Medicaid program. Both deficits need to be resolved in a responsible manner.
Ravitz added that proposals like mandating businesses with more five or more employees to provide paid sick leave to employees is a step in the wrong direction.
“Before a proposal like this is adopted it is imperative that the voices of small business owners are heard regarding the negative impact and unintended consequences a proposal like this would have on them. The state needs to continue to look for ways to cut regulations and fees that are put on the backs of businesses in New York State,” he said.
Cuomo announced 35 proposals in his State of the State address including a domestic terrorism law to address the spike in hate crimes, a $3 billion environmental bond act to fight climate change, legalized cannabis and historic infrastructure and economic development investments like a new Empire Station Complex and a reimagined Erie Canal. The Governor’s agenda also includes plans to help middle class families including an expanded free college tuition program, protections for gig economy workers, paid sick leave and tax cuts for middle class New Yorkers and small businesses.
The Governor is expected to announce ways to pay for these and other programs when he releases his 2020 executive budget.