UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi of Utica held a press conference in his hometown Friday morning to drum up support for Governor Cuomo's recently announced tax relief plan.
The press conference was held at The Bank of Utica, right next to the row of bank tellers at the bank, where Brindisi held up a deposit slip to the press, as a sign that New Yorkers will be able to deposit more money in their bank account if the governor's tax relief plan is passed.
Brindisi says the package of legislation is much needed, "You talk to homeowners anywhere in the Mohawk Valley, they're paying large amount of property taxes, more than most states, more than most areas of our country, so this is a way to give them some relief on their tax bills, so they can spend money on goods and services that support our economy."
Under the governor's plan, there are a variety of types of tax relief.
- Property taxes for working families would freeze for potentially two years. There would be no property tax hike in the first year, if the municipality you live in adheres to the two percent property tax cap in the first year. And in the second year, there would be no hike if the municipality shows even more progress.
- There would also be what the governor calls a circuit breaker, which would link the amount of property taxes you pay to your income.
- There would be a tax credit for renters.
- For manufacturers, they would have their property taxes cut by 20 percent, and upstate manufacturers in particular would also pay zero corporate income taxes.
Brindisi says the combination of business and residential tax relief is needed to boost the economy of not only our region, but the entire state, "When you're talking to nanotechnology companies to come to the area, the employees want to feel comfortable when they come, and if they come to an area which has lower property taxes, it becomes more likely they're going to want to move their businesses, tell their company they're ok moving to the Utica/Rome region."
Brindisi says the money given back to taxpayers and businesses would come from a big portion of the current two billion dollar surplus the state has, "Some of the two billion is going to go to tax relief, some of it to increases in education aid."
Also at Friday's press conference, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, a republican, who says he agrees wholeheartedly with the democratic governor's plan, "This is not a Democrat/Republican or Republican/Democrat issue, we all want the same thing for our people."
Brian Hudson, a homeowner from Whitesboro was also invited by Assemblyman Brindisi to take part in Friday's press conference.
Hudson explained why, 'I'm friends with Assemblyman Brindisi and he's heard me complain about how high my property taxes on a number of occasions. And when he heard what the Governor was proposing, he thought of me and asked me to come out here and represent the homeowner in Central New York."
Hudson says he and his wife purchased their home in Whitesboro six years ago and each year property taxes have gone up.
He's now paying a total of about $100.00 more each month in property taxes than when he and his wife first bought their home.
Hudson says new homeowners don't realize the extra burden property taxes put on a family, "You look at how much a mortgage is, you might think it's affordable but when you factor in how much the property taxes are on top of that, it can be overwhelming. In fact my property taxes are about 75 percent of what I'm paying in my mortgage, so it's like paying two mortgages."
Assemblyman Brindisi says he will be urging his colleagues in Albany to pass this legislation as soon as possible.
Brindisi hopes the legislation will be passed before April 1st, the deadline for the state budget, and if it is, Brindisi says homeowners, renters and some business owners will see some tax relief when they file their taxes next year.