ALBANY — Gov to try again on no-tax vow
Tomorrow, in his second State of the State speech to lawmakers, Cuomo plans to announce that his upcoming state-budget proposal will not include any new or increased taxes or fees to close a projected $2 billion deficit, sources said yesterday.
Candidate Cuomo pledged no new taxes in his 2010 campaign. But Gov. Cuomo last month engineered a restructuring of the state income-tax code that raised the rate on million-dollar earners significantly, compared to the pre-2009 rate, which had been scheduled to go back into effect on Jan. 1.
Cuomo will call for further shrinkage of state government to help close the projected gap for the fiscal year starting April 1 — after he cut agencies’ operations budgets by 10 percent in 2011-12, sources said.
A rosier forecast and the potential conversion of EmblemHealth into a for-profit insurance firm could drive additional revenues without tax or fee hikes, while agency consolidations could cut spending.
Cuomo has promised to include 4 percent increases in education and health-care spending in his 2012-13 proposal. They’re the biggest ticket items in the $132 billion state budget.
The tax-code revamp included modest cuts for married earners making $40,000 to $300,000 and hundreds of millions in new spending for jobs for inner-city kids, flood relief, infrastructure projects and a subsidy to the MTA for a payroll-tax cut.
But the hike on the rich will still net the state about $1.9 billion more than if two temporary income-tax surcharges had expired as planned.
The State of the State speech kicks off the 2012 legislative session. Cuomo is to deliver his 2012-13 budget proposal on Jan. 17.