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NY Budget Deal Details Draw Critics From Business

Frank Mauro, an analyst with the progressive Fiscal Policy Institute, said the new minimum wage won't be enough. He said the new wage would have to rise to $11.15 to match the buying power of the poor under the minimum wage of 1970s.

"We need to return their purchasing power," Mauro said.

Business groups also complained.

The budget deal "sends a difficult and regressive message to small business owners across New York," said Mike Durant of the National Federation of Independent Business. The group opposed the minimum wage hike. But it is also upset the budget deal won't let a big utility tax known as "18-a" to expire, as the law provides. Instead, the budget deal will phase the tax out over three years.

"New York has long suffered from an anti-business, high taxed reputation," Durant said. "The extension of the high earner tax rate will only continue to leave New York behind the rest of the nation in economic competitiveness."

The tentative deal for a New York state budget includes several measures for schools, which will see a bump of nearly $1 billion in the state's more than $20 billion school aid fund. That's an increase over the $890 million hike Cuomo proposed before the legislative negotiations took place.

The deal also includes $350 tax rebates to middle-class families with at least one child and a household income between $40,000 and $300,000. The checks wouldn't be sent to taxpayers until 2014. .

The budget deal includes $25 million to expand pre-kindergarten in low-income schools, $25 million to help school districts extend the school day and year, and $15,000 in annual stipends for top teachers.

Tax cuts and tax credits will be spread over three years, with most effective in the 2014 election year. They would include a $10,000 credit for hiring a veteran who joined the service since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Hiring a disabled veteran would draw a $15,000 credit.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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