Cuomo Cabinet Member RoAnn Destito Brings Governor's Agenda to Cortland
New York State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnne Destito was at SUNY Cortland Wednesday to present Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State message and further outline the Governor's goals for the current legislative session.
Desitio a former assembly member is now a member of Cuomo's cabinet, she delivered a shortened version of the governor's address.
Destitio summarized several of Cuomo's priorities for 2014, including a tax relief package aimed at helping businesses, homeowners and renters and a 2-year property tax freeze.
Under Cuomo's 2-year property tax freeze proposal, residents would be eligible for the freeze in the first year if their local government stays within the state's 2 percent property tax cap. In the second year, residents would be eligible for additional tax relief if the municipality stays within the tax cap and moves forward with plans to consolidate or share services with other municipalities.
Consolidations and mergers have been discussed locally before, but often the idea is rejected because of concerns over loss of local control, bigger government, and loss of representation.
Destito says New York currently has 10,500 local governments and taxing districts, the goal is to reduce the cost of government not eliminate it.
Cuomo's has also proposed education investments, he is calling for a $2 billion bond referendum next November, if approved by voters the borrowing would be used to update technology at schools around the state.
Some attendees questioned how the money would be split up, they pointed out that many schools in Upstate New York have higher needs than their downstate counterparts.
Destito also talked about the need to eliminate taxes and excess energy charges on manufacturing to help boost the upstate economy.