Cuomo in State of the State: Taxes, education, and casinos

By Kelly McCarthy

January 8, 2014 Updated Jan 8, 2014 at 6:37 PM EST

Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Governor Andrew Cuomo shared his vision for New York in his third State of the State Address. He believes New York has come a long way in the past three years but still has a tough road ahead, especially when it comes to finances and the state's economy.

For the second year in a row Governor Cuomo's State of the State address starts with bringing jobs to New Yorkers.

"For New York state job one is jobs," said (D) Governor Andrew Cuomo.

This year his state-wide job growth strategy is to reduce taxes. Cuomo wants to cut the corporate tax rate from 7.1 percent to 6.5 percent.

"Which would be the lowest corporate rate since 1968 and really send a strong signal to business saying this is a different day and we're doing it a different way," Cuomo said.

The largest tax burden on New Yorkers is property tax. Cuomo plans to offer a property tax credit for homeowners in localities that make meaningful measures to consolidate or share services.

The reason for high property taxes, Cuomo said, is because there are too many local governments.

"These are towns, villages, fire district, water district, libraries, sewer district, one district just to count the other district in case you missed a district," Cuomo said.

Education was a main focus for Governor Cuomo. He's using the equation that better technology and equal opportunities for all students will equal in better students in New York State.

He proposed a $2 billion "Smart Schools Initiative" bond to invest more in technology.

"It's going to be used for equipment such as laptop, desktop, tablets, infrastructure upgrades, high speed broadband," Cuomo said, "There will be strict eligibility on the use of funds and each district must submit a technology plan for approval by the state."

Cuomo is looking forward to taking more action to bring casinos to the Southern Tier and other upstate regions. A decision could be made as early as Fall 2014.

"Our challenge now is to make casinos a reality," Cuomo said, "Make it happen, make it happen fast and make it happen correctly."

The state named Mark Gearan as head of the Gaming Commission. He's currently the president of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

The Gaming Commission is scheduled to start accepting requests for proposals in March, and bids will be due in June.

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