Cuomo says budget surplus is possible

Andrew Cuomo. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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ALBANY—Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday there would be a surplus in the upcoming state budget, as long as the state stays within a two-percent spending growth cap.

School spending will still rise significantly even if Cuomo follows the recommendations of his tax commission to set aside a $2 billion surplus to pay for tax cuts, the governor said during an appearance on WCNY's The Capital Pressroom.

Cuomo said school spending will rise four percent next year and he disputed the criticism that he wasn't providing schools with adequate funding.

“Four percent more in this environment is a lot of money,” he said. “Nothing’s going up at four percent. So there would be more money for education, more money for Medicaid, more money for housing, more money for all those interest groups that want more money.”

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A state tax commission report released earlier this year recommended a two-year property tax freeze as part of $2 billion in tax cuts.

He said property tax relief was necessary because now New York has too many local governments that require a lot of taxpayer funds.

“The structural problem here is property taxes are crushing because 10,500 governments are unsustainable and we need structural reform, shared services, et cetera,” he said.