Business

Same old tax-and-spend budget

Same old tax-and-spend budget

The $168.2 billion spending plan revealed on Tuesday attempts to close a $4.4 billion deficit with a series of new "revenue raisers" - or new taxes and fees - paired with a proposed overhaul of the state tax code.

Cuomo noted that NY already sends $48 billion more every year to the federal government than the state gets back. Though not exactly part of the governor's budget proposal Cuomo used his speech to announce his directive for the state Department of Health to look into the feasibility of legalizing regulated recreational use of marijuana. Cuomo reiterated that $836 million in short-term rescue funding already pledged to the MTA should be 50 percent paid by the state and 50 percent paid by New York City.

Some of his $1 billion in revenue-raising ideas are worth pursuing, like charging a surcharge on opioids. Despite freezing temperatures, New Yorkers from around the state met there to protest Governor Cuomo's housing failures. "The presentation we heard today was more about political positioning rather than policy solutions that directly address the state's longstanding problems".

Cuomo's plan to sue the federal government over the elimination of the deduction for state and local taxes was supported by 58% of voters. He also wants to decrease the use of solitary confinement, described by corrections officials as special housing units, at state prisons.

The New York Health Plan Association, which represents managed health care plans, said the Cuomo plan will raises costs for both employers and residents.

"Direct care workers work with the most vulnerable of our population every day", she said.

The Governor is proposing a 3% spending boost for elementary and secondary education, as well as $10 million dollars for after-school expansion. He said a study will be released soon that explores converting the state income tax to a payroll tax and substituting charitable donations for local property taxes. When a $4 billion deficit is looming, the first thing to do is reduce spending, not increase taxation.

The budget makes no new demands for austerity. Jim Seward, R-Milford, need tax cuts and less Albany spending. There is no doubt that NY state faces many challenges ahead. This will benefit many businesses, including health insurance companies. Supporters of early voting say it encourages voting by making it convenient.

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"The marketplace has changed a lot these past few years", said Sen.

Concerns about lack of support for the Tuition Assistance Program for students and for hiring more full-time SUNY faculty "remain unaddressed", said Kowal, who is president of United University Professionals.

But some lawmakers felt the governor spent too much time blaming Washington for the state's troubles.

"Washington hit a button and launched an economic missile", Cuomo said on Tuesday.

"There are many reasons to want to protect and preserve our lakes, especially the ones that are tourist draws and the ones that people live on but this funding and the acknowledgement from the state is encouraging", Assemblyman Stec said.

"Nothing was said on this score, and the public is well aware - and will become even more aware in the months ahead - that these programs have had some difficulties", he said.

As one remedy for ringing more revenue out of an increasingly squeezed tax base, Cuomo said he is considering a new employer-paid income tax on wages, a replacement for state income tax that is now paid by wage earners. Cuomo said that the response to the tax plan was not a partisan issue, but one that affected all New Yorkers, and which the Legislature should address as one.


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