The governor’s budget has tax cuts, money for potholes but nothing on a new Bills stadium

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Our three big takeaways from the governor’s budget released Tuesday include two things that are in it and one thing that isn’t.

In it are tax cuts that will pay off this year and a war on potholes. Not in it? Any mention of money for a new Buffalo Bills stadium.

The budget takes income tax cuts spread over the next three years and squeezes them into this year and there’s a one-time rebate on your property taxes.

"This way more than six million middle class taxpayers will get their much-needed money a lot sooner," Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

I asked George Conboy from Brighton Securities to work out the numbers and here’s what he came up with.

For a family with an income of $40,000, the tax cuts equal $160. An income of $100,000 equals $430. For $200,000 in income, the cut jumps to $850 a year.

Now to the property tax rebate.

"We will provide a $2 billion property tax rebate to more than two million middle class homeowners," Hochul said.

The governor’s budget book says the average savings per home Upstate will be $920.

The budget spends more on schools, nursing homes and projects like filling in the north side of the Inner Loop.

Brean: "Is there anything in this proposal that you like?"

Josh Jensen, (R-Greece) NYS Assembly: "On its face Berkeley, there’s a lot to like in this budget proposal. I like the over a billion-dollar investment into our nursing homes. As someone who’s worked in the nursing home and someone on the Assembly Health Committee, we need to invest in our nursing homes. But what I’m concerned about is the ever-increasing cost of government."

The budget is a record at $216 billion, $4 billion more than this year.

Right now New York State spends $10,700 per resident. Pennsylvania spends $3,000 per person. North Carolina, $2,000 and Florida $4,000.

The War on Potholes

"I’ve also declared war on potholes," Hochul said.

Potholes are a problem after every winter. The governor wants to spend a billion dollars for what she calls Operation POP.

"Pave Our Potholes," she said. "And this strategy takes us from potholes to not holes."

The city of Rochester has a pothole machine that uses infrared technology to fill the hole.

The city budgets $200,000 a year to fix potholes.

A report in 2020 said bad roads cost upstate New Yorkers about $1,700 a year in the form of congestion and repairs.

We know that when roadway safety improvements are made these all have a huge impact on improving traffic safety," said Rocky Morietti of Buffalo-Niagara Falls-Rochester TRIP, the organization that did the 2020 report.

The governor’s budget for potholes is part of a $38 billion infrastructure plan for new roads, bridges and projects like filling in the north side of the Inner Loop.

But a new Bills stadium isn’t in the plan, at least not yet.

The governor never mentioned it today and when her budget director was asked if there’s any money in the proposed budget for a stadium, his answer was this.

"So, the answer is no," Robert Mujica said.

Brean: "The lack of any mention of a new Buffalo Bills stadium. Does that surprise you that there’s nothing in there about that?"

Jensen: "I’m not surprised it’s not in there. I could see her wanting to make a stand-alone deal about this but I also think it’s, they’re subject to negotiations with the Bills and ownership and the NFL."

The governor’s spokesperson said the negotiations with Erie County are still happening. The projected cost for a new stadium without a roof in Orchard Park is roughly $1.5 billion.