Tax-Free NY: Good Idea Or Bad Idea?

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Governor Cuomo's cabinet is making the rounds, talking up "Tax Free New York."  

In Watertown, Deputy Secretary of State for Local Government Dede Scozzafava said most state lawmakers realize it would jump start the economy.

"A lot gets done at the end of session and I think most legislators care about the economic well being of upstate," she said.

The program would include colleges large and small.

In fact, the president of Jefferson Community College says she has already been getting calls.

"People have ideas. My own staff have ideas, as well as folks in the community have called me with ideas," said Dr. Carole McCoy.

But some experts say special tax breaks for a special few, those that partner with certain colleges, is something that goes against sound economic policy.

"You're going to have low rates on certain businesses. That means that implicitly you have to have higher rates on all other businesses," said Scott Drenkard, an economist for the Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C. 

Even some who think it could be a good idea recognize it'll be controversial.

"People who are paying full tax will wonder why some people would be excluded," said Don Alexander, chief executive officer of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency.

Will it happen?

Look to see if Cuomo strikes a sudden deal with leaders of the Assembly and Senate over the next few days.

Then, we'll know.

Friday, October 31, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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