A few months ago, it looked like New York’s fiscal situation was so dire, that a tax increase seemed imminent. However, due to a combination of factors such as better-than-expected tax revenues combined with billions in federal relief money allocated to New York in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act have set up the state for a sound fiscal future in the near term. Still, things are not smooth in Albany as the Senate and Assembly announce their One-house budget resolutions as they look to set the post Covid-19 agenda against an embattled Governor Cuomo. Some of the budget proposals to keep an eye on:
- Investing $1 billion for small businesses (Adding $500 million for Small Business Assistance Grants and $500 million for Commercial Rent Relief).
- Adding $1,365,000 for the Minority and Women-Owned Business Development and Lending Program, for a total of $2 million.
- Restoring $1.4 million for additional economic development initiatives.
- Modifying language for a new and elective State Pass-Through Entity Tax that will shield companies from the double taxation associated with the federal government’s State and Local Tax (SALT) cap.
- Advancing language to accelerate the three remaining casino licenses for the downstate region.
- Modifying the Executive proposal regarding alcoholic beverages in movie theaters by replacing it with a proposal that would authorize the sale of wine and beer in movie theaters.
Middle Class Relief:
- Creating a personal income tax credit to reduce the net cost of property taxes for overburdened middle-class homeowners that will reduce taxes by approximately $400 million annually.
- Capping the interest rate on delinquent property taxes for owner occupied residential properties to a maximum of 7.5% per annum.
- Incorporating various highway safety measures, including protecting transportation workers, increasing penalties for dangerous driving behaviors like failing to yield for pedestrians, and providing additional work zone enforcement and education programs. This includes authorization for a work zone camera enforcement pilot program.
- Restoring $568 million in Statewide Mass Transportation Operating Assistance cuts and providing $385 million in additional Statewide Mass Transportation Operating Assistance.
- Providing $150 million to be added to the base amount for the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), for a total of $588 million in CHIPS funding.
- Restoring $65 million for Extreme Winter Recovery and increases this critical funding by an additional $35 million for a total of $100 million.
- Providing $100 million for an Urban Road Revitalization initiative to prioritize road repair in urbanized areas of the State.
- Updating the reimbursement rate for cities that provide maintenance on State-owned roads, which has been stagnant for more than 30 years.
- Authorizing the creation of state debt in the amount of $3 billion for the Environmental Bond Act of 2021, “Clean Water, Green Jobs, Green New York,” for the purposes of environmental improvements that preserve, enhance, and restore New York’s natural resources and reduce the impact of climate change, and providing for inclusion of the proposal on the ballot to be voted upon at the general election to be held in November 2021.
- Proposing to amend the Environmental Conservation Law and the State Finance Law, to implement the Environmental Bond Act of 2021 “Clean Water, Green Jobs, Green New York” by funding projects related to restoration and flood risk reduction, open space land preservation and recreation, climate change mitigation, and water quality improvement and resilient infrastructure.