Cuomo's tax commish visits Grand Island
The Cuomo administration brought its current legislative agenda to Grand Island this week.
Members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration have fanned out all over the state to push what they call the Governor's 2015 Opportunity Agenda. On Wednesday, Kenneth Adams visited the East River Road home of Bev Kinney, a past candidate for town council in 2013 and a member of the town's Economic Development Advisory Board.
Formerly the Empire State Development president and CEO, Adams is the acting commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance under the Cuomo administration. Kinney hosted Adams for an afternoon chat in her living room along with friends and neighbors.
Adams told the dozen guests about a property tax program that is the third in a series of legislative acts put forth by the governor in the last five years to relieve the tax burden on New Yorkers. He said the first prong was a 2 percent property tax cap in 2011 to stem the tide in taxes that were rising faster than incomes, especially for those on fixed incomes such as retirees. Cuomo has applied the 2 percent cap to the state government as well, Adams said, "to practice what we preach."
Second was a property tax freeze enacted last year. The third prong, the topic of the chat at the Kinney home, is a proposed tax credit for those with property taxes that are 6 percent or more of their income. Once fully phased in over four years, the program would allow 113,335 homeowners in Western New York with incomes less than $250,000 to receive an average savings of $702, according to the governor's office.
The money to pay for the program, estimated at $1.6 billion spread out over four years, would come from savings in other parts of the state budget, Adams said, "and then the budget discipline of lowering state spending. The governor has lowered the growth of state spending every year."
"You're not raising a tax over here to pay a tax over there," Adams said.
Taxpayers would receive the tax credit if they live in an area that stays within the tax cap.
Kenneth Adams and Bev Kinney