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The Empire

Cuomo, Skelos and Silver agree to tax reform package

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office has announced a deal has been reached with Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to, among a series of proposals, reform New York State's tax code, resulting in nearly $2 billion in revenue for the state.

"Our state government has come together in a bipartisan manner to create jobs, grow our economy and, at the same time enact a fair tax plan that cuts taxes for the middle class," the Governor said in a three-way joint statement. "This would be lowest tax rate for middle class families in 58 years. This job-creating economic plan defies the political gridlock that has paralyzed Washington and shows that we can make government work for the people of this State once again."

The proposal would create new income brackets for people who earn $40,000 a year or more (those below $40,000 would pay no taxes):

"Assembly Democrats share the Governor's belief that we need to restore fairness and equity to our tax system - someone who makes $50,000 should not be paying the same tax rate as someone making $5 million," Silver said in the same statement.

As part of the deal, the MTA payroll tax would be decreased for small businesses, saving them an estimated $250 million. The shortfall in revenues would be picked up by the state.

An agreement was said to be reached on support for a state constitutional referendum on gambling.

The proposal would also create a new infrastructure fund to funnel billions into improving the state's bridges and roads, as well as water, parks and educational facilities.

Another proposal also includes a inner city youth program that would give tax breaks to employers who hired unemployed youth, as well as a $37 million training program.

Areas hit hard by storms earlier this year would be eligible for a new $50 million grant program. There would also be a job retention credit for businesses to stay in flood damaged areas. Manufacturers in the state are also being promised a lower tax rate.