New York Rising
Throughout its history, New York State has been a beacon of opportunity and a global center of commerce and innovation. But over time New York lost its way. For more than fifty years, through Democratic and Republican administrations, state government spent too much and taxed too much. New York became the tax capital of the nation. We lost our competitive edge as high taxes drove businesses and families out of the state, particularly in Upstate New York.
We reached a crisis point in 2008. With New York at the epicenter of the financial crisis, our economy was in shambles. Over 850,000 New Yorkers were unemployed, the most since the Great Depression. While the crises mounted, Albany remained hopelessly mired in gridlock. By 2010 our state government — which used to be a national model — was a national disgrace. Controlled by the special interest lobbyists, Albany put its parochial needs ahead of the needs of the people. And after years of scandal and dysfunction, government had lost the trust of its people.
When Andrew Cuomo ran for governor in 2010, he explained that we were at a crossroads. We could either change course or continue on our path of decline. We needed to transform the state’s economy and get New Yorkers back to work. We needed to return the power of government to the people, not the special interests. We needed to get taxes and spending under control. We needed to stop the partisan bickering and return a functioning government to the state capitol.
Many pundits predicted it was an impossible task. But the Governor believed that if any state could make a comeback, it would be New York. He pledged that under his leadership the Empire State would once again become the home of economic promise, fairness, and opportunity.
In his first State of the State address he set out a transformational plan to restore New York to greatness. He has worked tirelessly during his tenure to make his pledge to New Yorkers a reality.
Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New Yorkers have begun to witness a renaissance that seemed unimaginable just a few short years ago.
The Governor’s four on-time, honestly balanced budgets set our state on a course of fiscal stability and that was recognized by all three financial rating agencies as they raised our State’s credit outlook to positive.
New York’s property taxes have been held to an average growth rate of just over two percent during the past two years, less than half the rate of growth over the previous ten years. And with the Governor’s recently enacted tax plan, homeowners will have their property taxes frozen and then cut over the next few years.
New Yorkers are now paying the lowest middle class income tax rate since 1953. And to create jobs, the State has the lowest corporate tax rate since 1968 and the lowest manufacturer’s tax rate (zero) since 1917.
New York has created 440,000 private sector jobs over the past three years and has the second highest net job growth of any state in the nation since the recession, and we now have more private sector jobs than in any time in our history. Unemployment is down in every region of the state and the overall rate stands at 6.7 percent, the lowest in over five years. Last year represented the single biggest one-year drop in the unemployment rate in upstate New York in recorded history. New York tourism jobs grew at twice the national average last year.
New York has begun to reclaim our place as the progressive capital of the nation with our leadership on marriage equality, sensible gun control legislation, a strong commitment to affordable housing, and our unprecedented investments and innovations in public education. But more than that, together we have changed the culture of Albany: from dysfunction to performance, from gridlock to action, from a focus on the special interests to serving the people. We have laid the foundation for success. Together we will build on that foundation for a new New York and our state will lead again.