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New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo discusses central New York highlights of 2018 budget

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New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Middle Class Recovery Act increases taxes on millionaires and cuts taxes on members of the middle class in state.

New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo touted the Middle Class Recovery Act and reduced taxes as he visited Syracuse on Wednesday to announce highlights in the state’s 2018 fiscal year budget for the central New York region.

Cuomo addressed a group of central New York officials and leaders, including Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, on Wednesday afternoon at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport. During his speech, Cuomo also discussed his initiatives to invest money in the airport and the State Fair in Syracuse.

Cuomo’s Middle Class Recovery Act increases taxes on millionaires and cuts taxes on members of the middle class in New York state. In the plan’s first four years, it will save central New Yorkers $207 million in taxes, with an average tax cut of $1,356, according to Cuomo’s office.

“If you look at the people who have suffered, it is the middle class,” Cuomo said Wednesday. “… You know we talk about middle class anxiety, middle class frustration, economic frustration, frustration of working families. Yeah, it’s not hard to figure out. When you are basically flat in your earning potential for 20 years. And everything is going up around you. You get that sinking feeling. And that’s what’s happening to the middle class.”

The state budget also includes $50 million for moving forward with the second phase of Cuomo’s plan to redo the State Fairgrounds. That investment follows the first $50 million phase in the redo plan.

Cuomo said the fair “really, really needed” the upgrades and called the fair a magnet for tourism in the region.

“People come to central New York. Once you get them here and they see what you have, they will come back,” he said. “That’s what we’re seeing in our tourism efforts. The trick is to get them to come the first time and using that State Fair as a magnet to bring people to central New York.”

Cuomo on Wednesday also discussed plans to renovate the Syracuse Hancock International Airport. The budget includes $35.8 million for the $48.8 million renovation project that will seek to turn the airport into a state-of-the-art facility.

The project will include a redesign of the airport’s grand hall, as well as the addition of a glass pedestrian bridge and an eco-friendly roof. Cuomo has said the project will create 850 construction jobs.

Cuomo said Wednesday that if a region wants a first class economy, then it needs a first class airport. He added that airports should be thought of as economic development centers and said he wants people flying into New York airports to be impressed with the airports.  

“We want them to understand who we are,” Cuomo said. “That we are the place of tomorrow and the economy of tomorrow, and the airports are going to say that and Hancock is going to say that. But not only are we going to do it but we’re going to do it quickly and we’re going to do it fast.”

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