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NY Senate Pushes Tax Cuts, Incentives In Jobs Bill

MICHAEL GORMLEY

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) â¿¿ Business tax cuts, tax incentives for hiring the unemployed, a moratorium on new taxes and a state spending cap will be part of the budget proposal of the New York Senate's Republican majority.

The election year proposal plays strongly to the Republicans' base of voters upstate and on Long Island and among its supporters in business. The Senate GOP proposal also sets up the dealing over the next three weeks with the Assembly's Democratic majority and Gov. Andrew Cuomo as they negotiate the coming fiscal year budget.

The Democrat-led Assembly wants an increase in the minimum wage and Cuomo is pushing a less expensive pension system for future hires, both of which the Senate majority has so far opposed.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said Wednesday the tax incentives will be paid for through cuts elsewhere that will be detailed in a full budget proposal next week. The majority senators say many of the ideas carry no cost. The Senate would provide employers a $5,000 tax credit for hiring a worker, $8,000 if they hire someone who was unemployed, and $10,000 for hiring a returning veteran.

"Last year, Senate Republicans partnered with Governor Cuomo to begin revitalizing the state's economy by reducing spending and cutting taxes for business and middle class New Yorkers," Skelos said. "The New Jobs-NY plan will build on that progress by cutting taxes even more, ensuring fiscal responsibility, protecting taxpayers and helping businesses create more jobs."

The proposal is part of the Senate majority's plan for the 2012-13 state budget due before April 1. That already includes agreements for 4-percent increases in school aid and health care and a nearly $2 billion deficit. The Senate majority and Cuomo reversed their 2010 campaign stance in December when they agreed to the Assembly Democrats' millionaire tax, which Senate Republicans had called a job-killing tax for most of 2011. Part of the nearly $2 billion in revenue pays for a modest but rare $200 to $400 income tax break for middle class families.

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