New York’s $212 B plan to jump start its recovery


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Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

With New York’s swift vaccination rollout instilling more public optimism in reopening the state, lawmakers are turning their attention to restoring the economy during the post-pandemic stage.

The $212 billion state budget includes tax increases on the wealthy, substantial relief for renters, undocumented immigrants and small business owners.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other New York State leaders announced that they are finalizing the state budget plan after coming to an agreement on April 6.

“Thanks to the state’s strong fiscal management and relentless pursuit to secure the federal support that the pandemic demanded, we not only balanced our budget, we are also making historic investments to reimagine, rebuild and renew New York in the aftermath of the worst health and economic crisis in a century,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The budget plan includes $2.3 billion in federal funding that will go toward aiding tenants that are late on rental payments, The New York Times reported.

New York’s budget plan also includes the legalization of mobile sports betting. In doing so, the state has the potential to bring in a revenue of nearly $500 million a year, beginning in fiscal year 2025.

$800 billion in grants and tax credits will be set aside for small businesses that suffered economic damages since the pandemic began. There will also be $2.1 billion in funding for undocumented immigrants, since they did not qualify for federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits.

In the past, Cuomo has tried to avoid taxing the very wealthy of New York, on record saying that there is “no combination of savings, efficiencies, tax increases that could ever come near covering the deficit.”

Now, the plan he helped create calls for taxes being raised on the top earners in the state. Anyone who earns an income of $1 million or more will see the effects of the tax hike.

An estimated $4 billion in taxes will be raised, Spectrum News reports. Two new tax brackets would be introduced for individuals that make over $5 million and $25 million. The changes would lead to the highest combined local and state personal income tax rates in the nation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Every proposal in the budget was championed by democratic leaders in the state’s legislature. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said the outcome will be a win for every New Yorker who is struggling as a result of the pandemic.

“Budgets are a statement of values, and in my two decades of service to the people of New York I can’t think of a more far-reaching and impactful budget than this,” Heastie said.

The budget agreement came a few days behind its original deadline, since the budget process was supposed to be completed by April 1.

Several issues stalled negotiations. Cuomo and some democrats remained at odds over funds that would have gone towards undocumented immigrants and the tax increases over the states wealthiest residents.