As he has in past years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took a post-budget victory lap in video form, making the case to New Yorkers that their state is “rising once again” and pointing to the spending plan as proof.
In the 5 1/2-minute video, Cuomo goes through the the merits of the $135 billion budget, which was passed by the state Assembly at 11:59 p.m. last night and takes effect Monday.
The budget gives Cuomo and the Legislature their third straight on-time spending plan for the first time since 1984.
“In partnership with the state Senate and the Assembly, Democrats and Republicans working together, we have agreed to pass a balanced budget well before the April 1 deadline,” Cuomo said in the video. “This is now the third budget in a row that we will have passed on time, and while three on-time budgets in a row shouldn’t sound like much, in New York state this is the first time it has happened in almost 30 years.”
Interestingly, Cuomo addresses one issue that has received pushback from business groups and the wealthy: An early extension of a higher income-tax rate on millionaires.
In 2010, Cuomo had campaigned against extending the tax, which at the time applied to those making a few hundred thousand dollars a year and had been set to expire at the end of 2011. But in December 2011, Cuomo and lawmakers reached a deal to apply a higher tax rate to millionaires than what had been set to take effect the next month.
And in the soon-to-take-effect budget, the millionaires tax is extended for another three years, through 2017.
“Overall, everyone in the state pays less taxes today than the day I took office,” Cuomo said.
“I had hoped to be able to reduce taxes on the very rich by ending the so-called millionaire’s tax. However, the economy has not rebounded and we could not lose nearly $2 billion in revenue at this time.”
Here’s the full video message: