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New York's too-high taxes and other deal-breakers

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Cuomo wants a tax cap from Albany, mayors want less mandated spending, and Paladino wants casino cash.

Cash rolls everything around New York
As usual, everyone's talking about money – call it taxes, revenue, or “mandated spending” – we’re obsessed with it.  The Buffalo News this morning has a rundown of the gubernatorial candidates' plans for dealing with high taxes, and a story about a Cuomo campaign stop in which he talked property tax cap.  The Democrat and Chronicle's Vote Up blog also has a take on Cuomo's cap campaign appearance

Paladino, meanwhile, says he'd shutter Turning Stone casino if the Oneida tribe doesn't share more revenue with the state, according to an AP story in the Post-Standard. 

Binghamton's mayor, Matt Ryan, has been appointed to a task force set up to deal with mandates.  That's the spending that state and federal law requires - but doesn't necessary fund.  Mayors have argued that the idea of a property tax cap won't fly as long as their budgets are bound by mandates.

"Without some kind of mandate relief, a tax cap would be a disaster for local governments," Ryan said Wednesday.

Another big part of municipal budgets is employee and retiree health benefits.  The Post-Standard has details about a new report from the Manhattan Institute that says towns and cities aren't saving properly for skyrocketing healthcare costs.

Cold storage
It's looking more and more like Verizon will be opening a data center in Niagara County - if the county doesn't screw up the incentives package.  Details from the Innovation Trail's Daniel Robison here, and the Buffalo News story here.  Summary:  upstate is cold, computers are hot – match made in Buffalo!

Ethanol cocktail
The EPA has given the green light for more ethanol in gasoline (in a blend called "E15), but as the New York Times reports, when the mix might come online isn't known:

The ruling, which was requested by ethanol producers, was widely expected but is the subject of heated debate over whether E15 is safe for cars and other gasoline-powered devices. Fuel sold today typically contains as much as 10 percent ethanol, but automakers and other critics say that a higher blend of ethanol could corrode engines.

Lunch of champions
Syracuse's oddly named CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (that's right, no space) is hosting the awesomely named "Economic Champions Luncheon" today.  The economic development agency will be honoring 168 firms that have "contributed to local growth," according to the Post-Standard.

Gas depresses energy development
The Associated Press reports that a natural gas boon has been a bane to developers hoping to bring other energies, like wind, or nuclear online, as cheap electricity depresses interest in other technologies.  The Innovation Trail's Zack Seward will have a report that touches on this later today - watch this space.

Groundbreaking
You may have heard the Innovation Trail's Emma Jacobs this morning reporting about a groundbreaking for the New York State Center of Excellence in Small Scale Systems Integration and Packaging in Binghamton yesterday.  It's a mouthful for sure, but you can read about the center's progress at the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

Not so fast
The New York Times says a deal between Yahoo and AOL, reported by the Wall Street Journal, is not happening imminently, so hold your horses.  From DealBook:

The trial balloon in the press is coming from a handful of bankers and investors who have tried to gin up interest in a deal for months. And at least a few of the named “suitors” in the Journal’s story, like the Blackstone Group, have already passed on the idea.

Unfriend
An Allegany County man says that he owns an 84 percent stake in Facebook after making a $1,000 investment in the site in 2003.  The case was in court yesterday, reports the Buffalo News.

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