Governor Hochul highlights tax relief, school funding in her budget proposal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP/WHEC) — New York would boost state school aid, provide sweeping property tax relief and deliver bonuses to health care workers over the next year if lawmakers pass a $216.3 billion budget outlined by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday.

Hochul is proposing a 3.1% spending increase in taxpayer dollars for her 2022 proposed budget, which would run from April through March 2023.

The Democratic governor says that the spending increase is just below the rate of inflation.

Top legislative leaders are expected to keep negotiating with Hochul to finalize the budget, which must be in place by April 1. The final budget often largely resembles a governor’s budget proposal, with some tweaks sought by lawmakers.

School spending would increase by $2.1 billion, a 7.1% increase. New York raised taxes on high earners and corporations last year with plans to use millions in new tax revenues to keep increasing the state’s share of school aid.

Her budget also includes $2.2 billion in property tax relief and $1.2 billion in bonuses for health care and front-line workers.

She didn’t immediately provide specifics of how the state would guarantee such bonuses, and for how many workers.

Hochul wants the state to set aside more funding in case of future catastrophes. Some fiscal watchdogs are worried about the state’s reliance on one-time federal funding amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hochul said rainy day funds would make up 15% of the state’s budget under her plan.

The governor also proposes $2 billion in pandemic recovery spending, and subsidies to make 400,000 more families eligible for daycare.

Her budget doesn’t include some spending increases sought by liberal advocacy groups, including a push to add $3 billion in aid for undocumented workers.

It also didn’t include any mention of money for a new Buffalo Bills stadium.

A spokesperson for the governor said negotiations remain ongoing between Hochul and Erie County officials.

The new future home of the Buffalo Bills has been on the table for months. It would cost $1.5 billion to build a new stadium in Orchard Park like the team’s owners want—and that’s without a roof.

Click here for the full budget summary.

Hochul outlined many of the proposals originally in her state of the state address.