New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited West Hempstead Monday morning to sign legislation that will bring tax relief to schools and small businesses.
Cuomo was joined by fellow state politicians, local leaders, school officials, members of the media and residents inside Cornwell Avenue School on Dec. 12. There, he spoke about the MTA payroll tax, which has burdened schools and businesses since it was passed in 2009.
Last week, the legislature came back for an "extraordinary session," Cuomo explained, during which they passed a jobs and tax package intended to stimulate the economy. It includes a program to create jobs by investing in road and infrastructure repairs and tax reforms. The latter includes relief from the MTA payroll tax, which was costing the West Hempstead school district alone, roughly $90,000 per year.
Cuomo signed legislation at Cornwell Avenue School that would exempt private and public schools from paying these taxes to support the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, while also reducing the amount small businesses pay.
"What we said in New York, in the legislature, is, 'We're not going to wait for Washington to come solve our problems for us ... we're going to step up to the plate and solve the problem for ourselves, because this is New York," Cuomo said.
He added: "I am proud of what this government did ... how they came together in the face of all these challenges, all this dilemma and chaos, and put politics aside. They made tough decisions and came up with a real package that's going to lead this state forward."
Check back for Patch's video coverage of the press conference later today.