ALBANY, NY – CSEA President Danny Donohue is slamming a new proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would provide yet another tax giveaway to business at the expense of local communities and middle class jobs. The CSEA leader also expressed extreme concern that state legislative leaders seem ready to give the governor a blank check on this latest misguided venture.
The governor’s new scheme, ‘Tax-free NY’ would allow new businesses to lease land on SUNY campuses and private colleges and universities and pay no taxes for 10 years. Even employees of the new businesses would pay no state income taxes.
“The governor doesn’t get the fact that more corporate welfare is no answer to New York’s economic challenges,” said Donohue. “No amount of TV ads spinning his record can change the reality that his so-called job creation policies have failed. They have mostly benefitted the super wealthy and big corporations and repeatedly failed to deliver real growth and middle class jobs.”
Recent state budgets have repeatedly shortchanged localities without providing any meaningful relief. This has resulted in the loss of nearly 60,000 public service jobs since the 2010, eroding needed services and taking paychecks out of the economy.
“There’s no money to help distressed localities and we have to cut funds from services for people with developmental disabilities, but we can send tax rebates to people who don’t need it in an election year? Now, it’s even more outrageous that the governor and legislative leaders think we can give away even more to businesses without any guarantee of benefit to taxpayers,” Donohue said.
The proposal comes shortly after the governor trumpeted a new municipal finance restructuring board that highlights the administration’s failure to provide real help to struggling localities while creating a new entity to point fingers and lay blame elsewhere.
“The Cuomo administration has very misplaced priorities,” Donohue said. “The governor has the money for the things that help his political agenda and his millionaire friends but he just doesn’t give a fig about working people.”
As further evidence, Donohue pointed to the disgraceful minimum wage deal, giving the lowest paid workers a small increase over three years but linking it to a business tax break that actually encourages the creation of more minimum wage jobs at the expense of low wage workers. It’s counterproductive for working people and the economy, especially in a state that already has the nation’s most inequitable wage income distribution.
“Governor Cuomo truly deserves the nickname, ‘Governor 1 Percent,'” Donohue said.