Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday released New York State’s $212 billion budget for fiscal year 2022. The budget will look to help rebuild New York after being hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 14 months. The State Operating Funds spending is $111 billion.
A $311 billion infrastructure plan begins with this year’s budget. The plan is the most expansive in state history and Cuomo said it will create thousands of jobs. New, key elements of the infrastructure plan includes the the Midtown West Redevelopment of New York City beginning with Penn Station, the Belmont Station redevelopment for the Long Island Railroad, a $3 billion environmental bond act, transportation programs, and public housing projects and additional funds for existing capital programs.
Projects specifically mentioned in the new budget include highways, bridges, rail, aviation infrastructure, non-MTA transit and DOT facilities, parks and water systems.
The budget also creates $15 broadband internet plans to low-income families and directs $2.3 billion in federal child care resources to expand availability, quality and affordability.
Increases in child care subsidies will help to expand access, co-pays will be lowered to no more than 10 percent of family income above the poverty level and essential workers will receive child care tuition support. Child care providers are expected to receive $1.3 billion in stabilization grants to support expenses and additional funds for cleaning and safety. Further investments will be made to fund areas that lack child care and help parents find the provider that is right for them.
The Excelsior Jobs Program and Employer Provided Child Care Credit will be enhanced under the budget, providing incentives to employers to help them make child care available to their employees. The program also allows for an up to 5 percent Investment Tax Credit Component and a credit of up to 6 percent of ongoing net child care expenditures provided by the credit recipient.
The Employer Provided Child Care Credit will double the current credit percentages to 50 percent of qualified child care expenditures and 20 percent of qualified child care resource and referral expenditures while increasing the per taxpayer cap from $150,000 to $500,000.
The budget includes $29 billion in public and private funds that will be provided for green economy investments to create 12,400 megawatts of green energy, which is enough to power six million homes. These investments will help to shift the state to a carbon neutral economy, fulfill the goals of New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act-which created a renewable energy program-labor and job standards and worker protection- and spur economic COVID recovery.
The funding includes a large offshore wind program, plans to make New York a global wind energy manufacturer, construct a green energy superhighway, a public-private partnership to build nearly 100 renewable energy projects and support transit agencies’ transition to electric buses.
The budget also ensures that New York Buys American in manufacturing renewable components while also providing an hourly wage, with benefits and overtime, for construction-labor peace agreements. The governor also plans to withhold up to 50% of federal and state funds from any jurisdiction that does not produce a police reform plan and does not comply with the governor’s Executive Order 203, which calls on local government entities with a police agency conduct an overview of police deployments, strategies, policies, procedures and practices.
Also included is $2.4 billion in rent relief as well as comprehensive nursing home reforms to ensure facilities prioritize patients over profits, establish a minimum thresholds for nursing home spending. $32 billion will be invested annually to implement the reforms while putting a limit of profits and performing party transactions to make sure the funding gets to the patients.
To assist small businesses, arts, entertainment and restaurant relief, $1 billion will be provided for recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, which was especially strong on those industries. This part of the budget includes $865 million in grants and $139 million in tax credits.
A middle class tax-cut is included which is expected to save 4.8 million New York residents over $2.2 billion this year. When the cut is fully phased-in, middle class taxpayers will be expected to receive a tax rate cut of up to 20%, amounting to a projected $4.2 billion in annual savings for six million filers by 2025.
A tax credit for New York resident homeowners with incomes of up to $250,000 will be provided if their total property tax exceeds a fixed percentage of their income. This part of the budget will target families with the highest property tax to income burden. The credit is capped at $350 per School Tax Relief (STAR) eligible household while also utilizing a $250 credit minimum to target homeowners impacted the most by high property taxes.
It is projected that claims will average around $340. Qualified homeowners will be able to claim this new Property Tax Credit for tax years 2021, 2022 and 2023.
“New York was ambushed early and hit hardest by COVID, devastating our economy and requiring urgent and unprecedented emergency spending to manage the pandemic,” said Cuomo in a statement.
“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,” he continued.
“This budget continues funding for the largest-in-the-nation $311 billion infrastructure plan, establishes a groundbreaking program to provide affordable internet for low-income families and enhances public safety through police reforms, all while continuing to provide relief to New Yorkers and small businesses as we recover from the pandemic. I thank the legislative leaders – Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie – for their partnership in helping make this critical budget a reality and delivering results for the people of this state.”
New York has also partnered with Schmidt Futures, a venture facility that advances science and computing for public benefit, and the Ford Foundation, a social justice organization that looks to reduce poverty and injustice while strengthening democratic values, promoting international cooperation and advancing human achievement. Together they have launched ConnectED NY, an emergency fund to provide about 50,000 students in economically disadvantaged school districts with free internet access through June 2022.
New York received $12.6 billion in federal funding to help offset revenue losses caused by the pandemic and $3.5 billion in new tax revenue that will rise to $4.3 billion in fiscal year 2023. The federal funding is less than the $15 billion requested by Cuomo in January, which he regarded as “fair funding.”
The budget increased by $36 billion due to the inclusion of new elements of the Midtown West Redevelopment of New York City which will refurbish Penn Station and Belmont Station. The increase also includes a $3 billion environmental bond act, transportation programs, additional public housing support and incremental adds to existing capital programs.