Local Leaders React to Cuomo's Tax Plans and Marijuana Stance

by Jim Kenyon

In order to get into the convention center to hear the State of the State, people had to file past a loud group of protesters calling for a ban on fracking for natural gas, and others opposed to the New York SAFE Act which became the centerpiece to last year's speech.

On Wednesday, the Governor talked about creating jobs by relieving the tax burden on employers He wants to reduce the corporate income tax, abolish it all together for upstate manufacturers and put a freeze on property taxes.

Senator Dave Valesky supports the efforts. " We feel very confident that we'll be successful in providing meaningful tax relief to the taxpayers of our state." he told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon.

Republican State Senator John DeFrancisco pointed out that the Governor's proposals closely resemble recommendations that came out of five hearing he held last year on tax relief. "I think it bodes well for serious tax relief for New York State citizens." he said.

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli says he supports the call for tax breaks to create jobs. "I'm hopeful we can put that into effect in the legislature. I hope the governor makes it a big part of his budget...Yes I'm hopeful those things do come to pass."

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner attended the State of the State. She hopes the Governor will follow through on his promises to help financially strapped municipalities. "We're seeing what's going on in East Syracuse with the police, and Oswego and Fulton with raising taxes, so there really needs to be some help from the state for cities villages and towns." Miner says.

The Governor also proposed an executive order to designate 20 hospitals where marijuana could be prescribed for patients.  Mayor Miner says she supports medical marijuana and went on to say, "I'm also in favor of decriminalizing marijuana.  I think we're spending too much of our police resources on chasing that particular crime when we can focus instead on violence and other areas doing destruction to our neighborhoods."

The State of the State is a speech that sets priorities and initiatives. In a couple of weeks, the Governor will issue his proposed budget which will determine how he intends to pay for those initiatives.