Last week, Gov. Cuomo released his 2018-19 Executive Budget proposal, which totals $168.2 billion.  (Read the Governor’s budget press release and watch the Governor’s budget presentation.)  The proposed budget would raise total spending by 2.3 percent, including a 3 percent increase in school aid, a $769-million bump. It also includes numerous policy initiatives, including the Child Victims Act, anti-sexual harassment legislation, electoral reform, criminal justice reforms and a study of the economic and health impacts of legalizing marijuana.

Read Unshackle Upstate’s response to the Governor’s Executive Budget proposal.

In order to deal with a projected $4.4 billion deficit, the Governor will again limit state agency spending growth to 2 percent and proposes $1 billion in “revenue actions” — new fees and taxes.

Facing what will likely be the most challenging state budget cycle since 2011, the Governor repeatedly blamed Washington D.C. for the state’s challenges. The Governor said that his plan is intended to counter the impact of a new federal tax plan – which he called an “economic missile” aimed at New York – and warned that it could stall economic growth and devastate some taxpayers. 

On Wednesday, the state Department of Taxation and Finance released a report which lays out a number of ways that lawmakers could rewrite the state tax code to avoid the adverse impacts of the new federal tax plan on some taxpayers, specifically the significant reduction in the deductibility of state and local taxes.  Most of the options are complex, and the report cautions that they all require further study.  The state budget director said that the Governor may include some tax codes changes in his 30-day amendments.  Unshackle Upstate continues to review these myriad proposals and remain extremely worried about their complex and confusing nature and potential to result in a net tax increase for overburdened employers.  

Next Tuesday, state legislators begin holding hearings on the Executive Budget proposal as they move forward in the state budget making process.