New York Lawmakers React To Cuomo’s 2018 Budget Proposal

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Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb:

“The governor continued his familiar theme of blaming Washington D.C. for problems that have been evident in New York for years. Oppressive taxes, a high cost of living, and financial pressures that drive residents away are not new issues. Unfortunately, today’s Executive Budget presentation was long on finger-pointing, yet short on financial details.

Despite the fiscal peril the governor insists we face, today’s presentation failed to make a commitment to actually reduce spending. There was no plan to lower the costs Albany places on local governments. Corrupted and underperforming economic development programs, which cost taxpayers billions, remain untouched. Families and businesses across New York should be wary of the term ‘revenue raisers’ — which are unlikely to help their bottom line.

The proposed overhaul of New York’s tax system outlined by the governor is complicated and cumbersome, with an endless list of unanswered questions to go along with it. The true impact on employees — who may be forced to take a salary cut — and businesses may not be known for years.

There are certainly encouraging elements of the budget proposal: spending stays within the 2 percent cap; direct-care workers are provided a living wage; middle class tax cuts are preserved; and we sustain investment in the Environmental Protection Fund.

We need more specifics on the governor’s spending plan for a complete assessment of its potential. The presentation we heard today was more about political positioning rather than policy solutions that directly address the state’s longstanding problems.”

Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle:

“For the past seven years, my partners in the legislature and I have remained committed to enacting fiscally responsible, on-time budgets that advance policies and proposals which support the needs of all New Yorkers. Though there are many challenges currently facing our state, I look forward to reviewing the Governor’s proposals and working with my colleagues to find creative ways to address these challenges and ensure that New York’s legacy remains one of strong educational opportunity, of social equality, and of vibrant economic promise.

“A great deal of work lies ahead of us; however, I remain committed to ensuring that this budget meets the needs of our community and all people who call New York State home.”

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli:

“The Governor put forth an Executive Budget proposal to tackle the serious, unprecedented issues facing New York state over the coming year, including multiple threats to the state’s financial picture. There is no doubt that New York state faces many challenges ahead. While personal income tax collections were strong in December, the future is clouded with uncertainty. The federal tax bill’s impact on New York’s budget is yet to be fully determined, but we know it will force tough decisions. The level of cuts in federal aid for health care and other programs remains in question. Out-year budget gaps and shrinking statutory debt capacity are also growing concerns.

Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia:

“We are continuing to review the details of the Executive Budget proposal. Preliminarily, we are pleased the Governor recommends funding many of the important initiatives he announced in his State of the State address – initiatives like expanding the reach of PreK and afterschool programs. We are, however, concerned with the recommended increase of $769 million in State Aid funding, which is less than half of that proposed by the Board of Regents. We need to invest in the education of all New York State students. The Regents State Aid request would ensure schools continue to improve and better prepare our children while also acknowledging the State’s fiscal realities.

“The Executive’s proposal is a step in the process for developing the final budget by April 1. We will continue to engage in discussions with the State Assembly and Senate to ensure State Aid funding will meet the needs of every student throughout our State, particularly those in schools with the greatest needs.”

“In the coming weeks, my office will thoroughly review the Executive Budget, examine both the near-term and long-term impact of these proposals and provide a detailed analysis.”

Senator Rich Funke:

“By my count, the Governor is proposing a $1 billion tax increase in his Executive Budget. He says businesses are receiving a “windfall” from the cut in corporate taxes at the Federal level, and so he proposes increasing their taxes here. He says we need revenue so we need to impose $300 million in new taxes on internet marketplaces and discourage Amazon from potentially investing $5 billion in our state and creating 50,000 new jobs with a new Headquarters. He is proposing to delay tax credits that businesses have been promised at a time when his own words describe our upstate economy as “fragile”. People and employers are leaving New York at a record pace because of a lack of economic opportunity and a poor business climate. This budget will make this steady migration into a virtual stampede. I do not support the action by the Federal government to limit the deduction on State and Local taxes because it is unfair to many of my constituents. At the same time, I do not support the Governor’s proposal to use that as an excuse to avoid hard choices. Instead, he is punishing hardworking small business owners with a giant tax hike. If the Governor considers the Federal tax plan an attack on New York and tantamount to a giant tax increase, what then, would he call this?”

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