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Cuomo Announces $2.2 Billion In Tax Cuts For New York State

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New Yorkers are getting a belated Christmas present from Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- billions of dollars in tax cuts.

The governor is trying to do something about New York's reputation as a high-tax, anti-business state by slashing everything from property taxes to estate taxes to business taxes, CBS 2's Marcia Kramer reported.

"New Yorkers need tax relief. You have a lot of hard-working families, a lot of homeowners who are getting crushed in this state by taxation," Cuomo said.

Determined to make New York more affordable to both businesses and families, Cuomo is proposing a massive $2.2 billion tax cut plan that has a little something for just about everyone.

It includes a two-year freeze on property taxes that will save an average of $350 for nearly 2.8 million homeowners. This is especially important to Westchester County and Nassau County residents who pay the highest property taxes in the nation, respectively.

New York City will be included in a renters tax credit, meaning 2.6 million renters with incomes below $100,000 will get $400 million in tax relief.

Elderly New Yorkers, who tend to move out of the state after retirement because New York is one of 15 states with an estate tax, are also getting a break.

The state will now exempt the first $5.25 million of an individual's estate and reduce the top rate to 10 percent, so 90 percent of all estates would pay no tax.

There is also a cornucopia of business tax cuts, including a reduction in the corporate franchise tax, tax credits for manufacturers and reductions in commercial utility taxes.

"More tax cuts changes the business climate of New York, changes the reputation of New York, changes the perception of New York, will keep more business and will attract more business and you grow more revenue. This state needs to grow," Cuomo said.

"Once we get the negatives out of the way, the high taxes out of the way, then the assets of New York can shine. Nobody has what we have here in New York," Cuomo added.

The governor also wants to simplify the tax code and eliminate the need for 270,000 New Yorkers to file returns.

State Senate Republicans reacted favorably, while Assembly Democrats said they will work with Cuomo, but want to make sure vital services are funded before taxes are cut, Kramer reported.

The largess comes in a year when Cuomo is seeking re-election and makes no mention of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's demand for $530 million in new taxes on the rich to fund universal pre-kindergarten and other educational programs.

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