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ONLINE: Governor Cuomo talks tuition, taxes in Rochester

by Kiara Alfonseca - Editor-in-Chief
Tue, Jan 24th 2017 01:35 pm
Photo taken from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York.
Photo taken from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York.

Earlier today, at 12:30, Governor Andrew Cuomo visited SUNY Rochester Educational Opportunity Center to address his budget proposals, concerning property tax, higher education tuition, and more, in his regional State of the State address.

Focusing on efficient government, Cuomo referenced the 624 local governments of Monroe County, and the effort to reduce spending and sharing expenses and services.

Among the budget plan is the talk about college tuition, a concern for many at The College at Brockport.

High school diplomas, according to Cuomo, used to be enough to succeed in America. Cuomo has proposed tuition-free college, hoping to push New York to lead in higher education and recede student debt. For families with incomes of $125,000 and below, students can access public schools in the SUNY system for free if Cuomo's proposal is passed. More than 50,000 families in the Finger Lakes region would be affected. College degrees leave students with debt, with a state average of $32,200, according to the Office of the New York State Comptroller. This is higher than the national average of $29,700.

"More than 940,000 middle class families and individuals making up to $125,000 per year would qualify to attend college tuition-free at all public universities in New York State," Cuomo's proposal states. "The Excelsior Scholarship program will ensure that students statewide, regardless of their socio-economic status, have the opportunity to receive a quality education and gain the skills they need to suceed in our global economy."

Coinciding with the plan for education is the extension of the Millionaire's Tax. The higher tax rates on the rich are expiring soon, which would affect the 195 millionaires in Monroe County. This has the potential to bring billions of revenue to the state, which would pay for public schools, the tuition-free plan, withholding tax raises on the middle class and more.

Governor Cuomo 's speech can be found here.

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