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Politics

Business boosters call for tax cap, Cuomo waits on job cuts, gas tax

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Unshackle Upstate
Brian Sampson, director of Unshackle Upstate, is urging the passage of a 2 percent property tax cap.

Unshackle Upstate has released a white paper that purports to debunk the "myths" around the notion of a property tax cap, reports Nick Reisman at State of Politics.  The blog has the full document if you want to read it.  Over at the Democrat and Chronicle's Vote Up! blog, Joseph Spector has a quote from Unshackle director Brian Sampson about the document:

“As taxpayers across the state prepare to vote on proposed school budgets, it’s clear that we need a 2-percent tax cap and we need it now,” said Brian Sampson, executive director of Unshackle Upstate. “This white paper demonstrates that escalating property taxes negatively affect all New Yorkers. From the cost of electricity to the price of groceries, property taxes are a part of everything we consume. By enacting a 2-percent tax cap, homeowners will be able to save more money and private-sector businesses will be able to create desperately needed jobs.”

Cuomo

Governor Cuomo doesn't know how many state jobs might be cut to gain $450 million in savings in the state budget, reports Casey Seiler at Capitol Confidential.  He says a decision is "coming shortly."

Meanwhile the governor also hasn't made up his mind on a "gas tax holiday," where state gas tax is suspended for the summer driving season.  Karen DeWitt reports for WXXI's Capitol Bureau that Cuomo says he has to "look at the numbers" on the legislation forwarded by Republican legislators Jim Tedisco and Senator Greg Ball.

Consolidation

Virginia Kropf reports in the Batavia News that the towns of Ridgeway and Shelby, and the village of Medina are ready to move forward with a consolidation:

Estimates of savings in consolidation range from $205,000 to $406,000 annually. In addition, consolidation would immediately make the village eligible for state Consolidation Incentive Funding of $622,000 per year, indefinitely. Consolidation would result in one water/sewer department and centralized water billing. [Media village attorney Nathan] Pace said having people who just focus on one area of expertise frees the others to deal with other issues, whereas, now there may be four different people who must learn about water or sewer. ‘‘You now have three people who must get up at 3 a.m. to see how many employees are needed to clear the roads,’’ he said. ‘‘This could be done just as effectively with one.’’

UB2020

Business leaders gathered in Albany yesterday to push for SUNY Albany to be included in any deals that the University at Buffalo might get to help it foster private business within the school.  Scott Waldman and Eric Anderson report at the Times Union that SUNY Albany is worried about being left out in the cold:

What's not clear is whether these changes -- the so-called UB2020 initiative -- also would extend to UAlbany and the other two university centers in Binghamton and Stony Brook. The meeting would not only establish a tiered system among SUNY schools; it would create significant opportunities for the local business community as it could grant institutions more flexibility to establish public and private partnerships. F. Michael Tucker, president and CEO of the Albany-based Center for Economic Growth, says the rules put New York at a disadvantage. While there are ways to establish public-private partnerships, they can be expensive and time-consuming, he said. He pointed to the Fuller Road Management Corp., which oversees the Albany Nanotech campus and rents space to companies ranging from IBM to Tokyo Electron. Under reforms being pushed by business and university leaders, "it will be a lot easier not to have to set up these entities," Tucker said.

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