New York leaders, Gov. Cuomo reach deal on budget
Sat, 29 Mar 2014 14:56:24 GMT —
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have reached a deal on a $140 billion budget that provides some tax relief for businesses, homeowners and renters.
Details of the agreement are contained in legislation filed by staff members overnight Friday. It covers the budget for the fiscal year starting Tuesday.
The budget holds spending growth under two percent for the fourth consecutive year. The budget also includes $1.5 billion in property tax relief of the next three years. The state government plans to do so by imposing a new property tax credit to provide New York homeowners relief and reduce the outsized number of local governments.
The property tax relief package encourages local governments to share services to reduce taxpayer burden. New Yorkers will see property tax relief in the first year is the local governments stay within the property tax cap. These tax cuts will extend into the second year if these local governments that complied with the tax cap also put forward a plan to save 1 percent of their tax levy per year for three years.
To encourage manufacturers to move to New York and create new jobs, the budget plans to establish a 20 percent real property tax credit for manufacturers who own of lease property in the state. The budget also lowers the tax rate on income for manufacturers from 5.9 percent to zero percent starting in 2014.
The budget also puts forth $150 million in flexible new economic development capital funding and $70 million in state tax credits to promote the growth and success of the Regional Economic Development Councils created in 2011.
In terms of education, the budget includes a 5.3 percent increase in education aid for the 2014-2015 school year, which comes out at $1.1 billion. 70 percent of this increase will go to high-needs school districts.
The budget will put into law a series of recommendations to change the common core implementation. These changes include eliminating â??bubble testsâ?? for young children, protecting students from high-stakes testing and ensuring instructional time is used for teaching rather than not over-testing.
The government plans to invest $1.5 billion over the next five years to support the phase-in of universal full-day pre-kindergarten. The budget will also help charter schools. It increase tuition funding for charter school students over three years and will help charter schools address facility needs. Charter schools will be eligible for pre-k funding. Additional funding will also go toward technological advancements in schools across the state.
To address public trust, the budget includes proposals for new anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws.
The budget also includes legislation to crack down on texting-while driving for young drivers. Young and new drivers convicted of texting-while-driving will have their license suspended for 120 days on the first offense and a year on the second offense.
Lawmakers are expected to return Sunday to discuss the bills and vote Monday.
Information provided by the Associated Press contributed to this report.