Cuomo: More tax cuts for small business

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to trot out his 2016 economic agenda on Tuesday, with a call to revamp the state tax code to benefit small businesses.

The plan, announced in a speech in Rochester, followed a morning presentation on Long Island, where the governor unveiled a plan for millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements, including spending on sewers, airports and the LIRR’s stalled third rail project.

In Rochester, Cuomo said he would pursue small-business tax cuts of $298 million, bringing total reductions during his administration to more than $5 billion.

For small businesses that file under the corporate tax code, Cuomo proposed reducing the net income tax rate from the current 6.5 percent to 4 percent effective next January. For the purpose of the tax cut, a “small business” is one with fewer than 100 employees and with net income below $390,000.

For small businesses whose members pay taxes via the personal income tax – that is, partnerships, S-corporations, and LLCs – the governor proposed new and expanded tax cuts, including a 15 percent exclusion on income, up from the current 5 percent.

The cuts would go to firms with less than $1.5 million in New York gross receipts and total business income below $250,000.

The proposals would affect more than 190,000 Long Island businesses and almost 1.1 million statewide, he said.

Cuomo also called for another $250 million in funding to support drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the state, with half distributed to municipalities this year and the remainder in 2017.

He also announced a plan to spend $100 million on downtown revitalization projects, focusing the spending on one community in each of the state’s 10 economic development zones.

Lastly, Cuomo announced plans to appropriate $950 million in the 2016-17 state budget to support a sixth round of the regional economic development council competition and a sister program for upstate regions.

Since its launch in 2011, the competition has leveraged $4 billion in state spending with $22 billion in private investment, funding more than 4,100 projects and creating more than 200,000 new jobs across the state, Cuomo said.