HEMPSTEAD, New York — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo began rolling out elements of his agenda for a second term on Wednesday, proposing a $1.66 billion program that would provide property tax relief to as many as 1.3 million taxpayers.
"That is going to be my first proposal in the State of the State," Cuomo told the audience for his speech at Hofstra University on Long Island — saying he chose the location because the region has some of the highest property taxes in the country.
"I am doing it first because I want to signify that this will be the single most important challenge that we are facing economically as a state," the governor said.
The proposed tax credit would apply to homeowners whose property tax burden exceeds 6 percent of their income. They also must have annual adjusted household incomes below $250,000.
The Democrat said when fully phased-in over four years, more than 1.3 million taxpayers would receive an average credit of $950.
Details of many of Cuomo's budget plans will be part of the State of the State address scheduled for next week in Albany.
The new proposal follows tax-cut initiatives in his first term. He imposed a 2 percent cap on what local governments could levy in 2011.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said in a statement that Republicans have a long history of fighting for property tax relief.
"While we look forward to discussing the specifics of Gov. Cuomo's proposal when he unveils his entire executive budget, it is essential that any enacted property tax relief plan ensures all middle-income families in every region of the state receive property tax relief," Skelos said.
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb was more critical of the proposal, saying it "doesn't go far enough, doesn't address the issue at its core, and doesn't provide meaningful property-tax relief to all New Yorkers."
Associated Press writer David Klepper in Albany contributed to this report.
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