Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced Tuesday a settlement on the overdue state budget that includes approximately $ 4 billion in new taxes, legal sports betting and unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants.
The $ 212 billion spending plan, which expires April 1, dwarfs last year’s $ 194 billion price tag to account for economic losses stemming from the coronavirus crisis.
“New York was ambushed early and hit hardest by COVID, devastating our economy and requiring unprecedented and urgent emergency spending to handle the pandemic,” Cuomo said.
“Thanks to the state’s strong fiscal management and the relentless search to secure the federal support the pandemic demanded, we not only balanced our budget, we are also making historic investments to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York after the worst health and economic crisis in a century “.
Lawmakers began voting on the bills in the state Senate and Assembly on Tuesday afternoon, and the process is expected to drag on through Wednesday night as the remaining three budget bills out of ten are due. print.
“We understood that all the budget bills have been agreed in three ways and maybe they are still in some process level, but we will be ready to go to the floor, probably with messages of need,” said the Senate Finance Chair state Liz Krueger said on the floor of the state Senate during the debate.
Cuomo and state legislators collided with the most expensive budget items, including the tax increase that will impose an increase of about 1 percent on New Yorkers who earn more than $ 1 million a year and sets new tax brackets for the highest income in the world. condition.
The state corporate franchise tax will also increase to 7.25 percent from 6.5 percent over three years, although the rate will remain the same for companies making less than $ 5 million.
“This is not a tax increase for the vast majority of New Yorkers,” Krueger said during the debate. “It is a relatively small taxpayer, roughly 50,000 taxpayers who are on the richer end of the scale, even during a pandemic and an economic crisis.”
But others, including two New York City mayoral candidates, say the tax increases will cause a much-needed revenue exodus from the city as residents and businesses seek greener pastures in less onerous states and cities.
Another sticking point was the “Excluded Workers Fund,” which will allocate $ 2.1 billion in unemployment benefits to undocumented workers who would not otherwise be eligible for federal funds. The hot topic led to a dead end between progressive New York City Democrats and moderate Democrats from upstate and suburban districts.
The parties also agreed to legalize mobile sports betting, which lawmakers say will increase revenue this fiscal year by $ 99 million and then up to $ 500 million by 2025-26.
This year’s budget also represents $ 2.4 billion in emergency rental assistance and will give an annual boost of $ 1.4 billion over the next three years to public schools across the state. About $ 105 million will be spent to expand universal pre-K to the 210 districts that do not yet have the program.
Also included is nursing home reform: Those facilities will now be required to spend at least 70 percent of their income on patient care and 40 percent on resident staffing. And $ 64 million will go toward increasing staffing.