Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers return to the Capitol on Wednesday for the Governor’s State of the State Address, which kicks off the 2014 legislative session.


The highest-profile 2014 issues are likely to include calls for tax relief.  Gov. Cuomo, following the recommendations of his Tax Relief Commission, is expected to push for a two-year “property tax freeze.” The likely plan is that if local taxing districts (which include counties, towns, villages, school districts and other jurisdictions) stay within the state’s property tax cap, their residents will get some form of tax break from the state.


Gov. Cuomo is also expected to call for a property tax circuit breaker.  We’ve been pretty vocal about the need for real tax relief, that we don’t believe that a property tax circuit breaker fits the bill.  A circuit breaker will only help some taxpayers, and will not offer any relief at all to businesses.  We can do better than that.  We will be pushing for broad-based tax relief.


But since 2014 is an election year, we have to be wary of calls for new or increased spending.  Election year spending increases are the bane of fiscally-responsible budgets in Albany.  The last three state budgets have been pretty good ones.  We will work to make sure that this trend continues.