Tuesday December 6,2011 : Tax changes, public -private partnerships and legalised gambling part of governor's plan
New York governor Andrew Cuomo wants to overhaul the tax system, use public-private partnerships to repair the state’s infrastructure, and legalise gambling as part of a wide-reaching jobs creation plan, according to an opinion editorial piece that his office despatched to media outlets over the weekend.
The Bloomberg news group reported that the governor is seeking bi-partisan support for his plan to address a $350 million deficit in the current fiscal year and as much as $3.5 billion in fiscal 2012, which starts April 1.
The plan will be discussed Tuesday and Wednesday in special Republican and Democrat meetings of the state's politicians. The Legislature had not been scheduled to reconvene until January.
In the opinion piece, Cuomo called for establishing a state infrastructure fund to finance the repair and development of highways, bridges and major construction projects… without specifying the amount of money involved.
“I will be reaching out to Democratic and Republican officials in a spirit of cooperation and compromise so that together we can enact a real economic program that creates jobs,” Cuomo wrote.
Cuomo described revenue as “collapsing” during a press conference in Albany last week as taxes collected on Wall Street wages and bonuses decline.
The governor, who took office in January 2011, has cut spending and won concessions from labour unions. He is now seeking a stimulus package that would increase spending on road and bridge construction; finance new programs to train poor urban youths; and legalise resort-style casino gambling to raise tax revenues.
“Our goal in New York should be twofold: to fashion a job-creating economic plan, and to defy political gridlock like we see in Washington and make government work to actually implement the plan,” Cuomo wrote.
However, observers have pointed out that some of the changes will take time to implement: legalising full-scale commercial casinos would require amending the state’s Constitution, for example – a process that would require approval from two consecutive Legislatures and then a voter referendum.