Regardless of Federal Aid Amount, Governor Plans on Raising Taxes

Governor Andrew Cuomo said this week that taxes need raising in order to bridge the budget’s deficit gap caused by COVID-19, and the ongoing exodus of taxpaying New Yorkers from the State.

“If Washington gives us some of it, then we’re going to have to redo a budget, we’re going to have to raise taxes—I believe we’re going to have to raise taxes, at the end of the day, in any event,” Governor Cuomo said. “The question is, how much in tax?” 

In April, state lawmakers adopted a $178 billion budget, with an expectation for additional federal funding that has yet to arrive.  Lawmakers have grown closer to negotiating a deal, providing either $908 or $916 billion dollars in relief funds around the nation, depending on which relief bill is chosen.  The bills relief amount is significantly smaller than earlier proposals where democrats asked for amounts reaching $3 trillion dollars to aid struggling Americans.  The difference now, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) says, “A new president and a vaccine,” adding that this is a “total game changer.”

New York’s State budget office estimated in October a $13.5 billion depreciation in state revenue, based on February projections which had yet to account for the impact of COVID-19.

Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt (R), speaking on the issue, remarked, “New York is one of the highest taxed states in the nation, and raising taxes will result in the continuation of the exodus from this state.”