Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued his publicity tour Monday on the recently passed state budget with a stop in Syracuse.
Cuomo, a Democrat, was a late edition to the agenda at the annual meeting of CenterState CEO, a business development group. About a thousand business owners and local leaders attended the luncheon at the OnCenter.
The governor praised CenterState CEO's president, Rob Simpson, and Onondaga County's "phenomenal" Executive, Joanie Mahoney.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner briefly attended the event, but left before Cuomo began his remarks. The two did not speak, the mayor's spokesman said. Miner and Cuomo have had an icy relationship for several months now.
Cuomo noted that the state’s unemployment rate has dropped, including across upstate. But mostly, the governor used the appearance to pat himself on the back for pushing through a fourth on time budget for the state, which he called "a grand slam."
Cuomo pointed out that manufacturing and estate taxes will be cut. And said that he’s kept state spending down.
"You can’t spend more than you earn. One of my daughters is struggling with this concept, mightily, I might add," he said. "But the state of New York is struggling with this concept for 50 years."
He says when you keep spending down, good things happen, like lower taxes. He said it's the governmental equivalent of "eat less, exercise more."
Cuomo was able to push through his property tax credit for residents of municipalities that consolidate services. It’s something he admits is not popular with everyone.
"I plead guilty," he said. "I am trying to exert pressure on the local governments to reduce costs. And I am trying to enlist the people of this state in that effort to to try and get them to reduce costs, because there is no option."
New York is waiting for the winds of a national economic recovery, Cuomo said, so the state can set sail.
There was no big announcement as with other last minute visits from the governor – like the nano film center he announced in March. But the last slide of his presentation read "the best is yet to come."