O'Mara gives Cuomo speech high marks for focus on upstate manufacturing, job creation

Thomas F. O'Mara

January 08, 2014

Albany, N.Y., January 8— State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) today said Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fourth State of the State message to the Legislature earns high marks for its focus on the future of upstate manufacturing.

O'Mara, who’s in his second term representing New York’s 58th Senate District, joined his Senate and Assembly colleagues in the Empire State Plaza’s Convention Center for Cuomo’s address earlier today – the official kickoff to the 2014 legislative session.  He stressed that while this year’s session presents legislators with a range of key challenges, many of them touched on by Cuomo in today’s speech, the governor was especially on target by focusing on the need to reenergize the New York State economy with a particular emphasis on upstate manufacturing.

Cuomo’s proposals include a 20-percent real property tax credit for manufacturers, the accelerated phase-out of the so-called 18-a utility assessment, reducing the corporate franchise tax to its lowest level since 1968, and the elimination of the corporate income tax on upstate manufacturers.  Over the past several years, O’Mara has consistently sponsored legislation and highlighted the need for tax relief and regulatory reform for upstate manufacturers.  The governor also echoed a regulatory reform strategy consistently advanced by O’Mara and his colleagues in the Senate and called for the creation of a joint regulatory reform commission to move the changes forward.

“I’ve heard it over and over again from local economic development leaders that revitalizing the manufacturing sector is the key to turning around the upstate economy. We have to keep working toward a future where ‘Made in Upstate New York’ is once again synonymous with economic growth and opportunity, innovation, quality and endurance. Manufacturing has always been the economic engine of many upstate communities, and it remains our best hope for any long-term revitalization and economic security for our workers and their families,” said O’Mara.  “Taking action this year on pro-manufacturing tax cuts and other tax and regulatory reforms would be a great start.  Taking additional steps to make New York State less regulated, less taxed and a better place to do business will make a difference.” 

[watch Senator O'Mara's reaction here]

O’Mara generally applauded Cuomo for highlighting many of the key issues facing New York in 2014, including the need to keep building on bipartisan achievements over the past several years that have produced on-time state budgets, budgets containing no new or increased state taxes and fees, year-to-year state spending decreases, and an ongoing overhaul of the state bureaucracy, but he said the governor continues to fail to focus enough on mandate relief for local governments and taxpayers.  

“It’s a crushing burden, it’s unfair and we haven’t done nearly enough to once and for all shake off the state’s habit of shifting the burden of unfunded mandates and other costs onto the backs of local property taxpayers,” said O’Mara, who said that he will continue to co-sponsor legislation this session to put an end to the practice of unfunded state mandates.

O’Mara’s constituents can register their reactions to the governor’s State of the State through a “quick poll” that asks, “Does Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fourth State of the State message put New York government on the right track in 2014?”

O’Mara is also offering area residents a more comprehensive “2014 Community, Jobs and Economy Survey” that covers many of the key issues facing New York in 2014.