Gov. Cuomo Announces Budget Plans

January 15, 2019

ALBANY, NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual budget address today in Albany.
Highlights of the FY 2019 Executive Budget:

State Operating Funds spending is $100.0B – an increase of 1.9 percent (State Operating Funds exclude Federal funds and capital)
All Funds spending $168.2 billion for FY 2019
Protects New Yorkers from federal tax assault
Closes carried interest loophole
Increases School Aid by $769 million – doubling the statutory School Aid growth cap and bringing total investment to $26.4 Billion
Provides $7.5 billion in State support for higher education in New York- an increase of $1.4 billion or 24 percent since FY 2012
Provides $118 Million to continue the successful Excelsior Scholarship and extend the income cap to $110,000
Establishes a new opioid epidemic surcharge
Imposes a Healthcare Insurance Windfall Profit Fee
Defers Large Corporate Tax Credits
Continues the phase-in of the Middle Class Tax Cut for six million New Yorkers – saving households $250 on average and $700 annually when fully effective.
Continuing the Trend of Fiscal Responsibility

Response From State Senator Tom O’Mara: “Governor Cuomo’s new direction for New York State, working hand in hand with a State Legislature under one-party control, could produce billions of dollars of short- and long-term spending requiring billions of dollars in new taxes, fees, and borrowing for future generations of state and local taxpayers,” O’Mara said. “The short-term pursuit of a hard-left, liberal political agenda appears to be the priority over a long-term, sustainable future for upstate, middle-class communities, families, workers, and taxpayers.

“New York remains one of the highest-taxed states in America. We are one of the most overregulated states in the nation. Our local governments and local property taxpayers continue to foot the bill for one of the country’s heaviest burdens of unfunded state mandates. Still, the Cuomo vision does not emphasize broad-based, lower taxes for workers and employers. Nothing about the pitfalls of overregulation or the drain of unfunded state mandates on counties and local property taxpayers, or the glaring need for workforce development. What about the high cost of living that is driving people, especially young people, out of Upstate New York?

“I’ll keep on stressing that New York government needs to stay focused on taking action after action to revitalize Upstate manufacturing job growth and relieve the crushing burdens of unfunded state mandates, overregulation, and high taxes. It begins and ends with addressing these priorities. At this point I don’t believe the governor’s new direction for New York State is focused enough on the root causes of Upstate’s decline, which means high taxes, overregulation, and unfunded state mandates that keep local property taxes high. I was hoping to hear more of a focus on these broad-based economic and fiscal priorities for our local communities, economies, farmers, manufacturers, and taxpayers,” O’Mara said.

Response From Assemblyman Phil Palmesano: “The governor certainly put forth a bold and aggressive plan today. However, I do not think his plan is in the best interests of all New Yorkers, especially for the people of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes Region I represent. I heard no talk of improving the business climate to encourage private sector-investment and job creation by reducing costly taxes and burdensome regulations. He spoke of the need to invest in infrastructure, which I agree is important, however no mention of increased funding for local roads, bridges and culverts through successful programs like the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). I did not hear him mention improving the quality of care and life of our most vulnerable New Yorkers, the developmentally disabled, by providing important funding for services and a living wage for the direct-care support professionals who provide them such valuable care. Finally, the state needs a much more aggressive plan to deal with the growing heroin and opioid crisis that continues to destroy families and lives all across our region and state. These should be part of our state’s priorities and these will be some of the priorities I will advocate for during this year’s budget process,” said Palmesano.

From State Senator Cathy Young:
“My district is one of the largest in New York State with 4,139 square miles. Yet, from one end to the other, the concerns I hear from my constituents are remarkably similar: taxes, education and jobs.

Listening to Governor Cuomo’s budget address through that filter, there were encouraging proposals. I was glad to hear him advocate for making the state’s property tax cap permanent, a measure Senate Republicans have pushed for several years.

Also encouraging was his statement that he intends to support the next phase of the historic middle-class tax cuts that our Conference championed and that kicked off in 2018. When fully enacted, these cuts will bring New York’s tax rate to its lowest level in 70 years. Republican members have other tax-reduction proposals that we will bring to the budget discussion as the process moves forward.

Our children should benefit from world-class educational opportunities, which is why I was pleased that the Governor has proposed a nearly $1 billion increase for our schools, a 3.6 percent rise over last year. His commitment to give priority to the neediest districts is important for rural areas like ours. We will also be working to ensure that funding to our hospitals and health care system will support the quality and access that New Yorkers need and deserve.

There is a great need in our region and in several communities across the state for the property tax compensation fund the Governor mentioned, which would assist communities affected by power plant closures. This is reassuring for the City of Dunkirk, which continues to require support in the wake of NRG’s plant closure and its July decision to withdraw from the repowering project.

Infrastructure investment is critical for our aging upstate communities, which have some of the oldest roads and bridges in the state. The Governor’s pledge of $4.43 billion for these transportation networks is crucial to supporting economic development and job growth and assuring the safety of our residents.

The Governor’s address also included proposals that I oppose such as legalizing marijuana, which poses very real health and safety concerns and using taxpayer dollars to fund political campaigns. At a time when we are facing a $3 billion deficit and many more pressing fiscal priorities, allocating hundreds of millions of dollars for public campaign financing does not make sense.

In the coming days, I will be analyzing the details of this $175 billion spending plan and its impact, both positive and negative, on the hardworking taxpayers that I represent. While the role of the Republican Conference in the budget and legislative process has changed, my commitment to fight for fairness and equity for my district and upstate New York is stronger than ever.”