2018 State Budget Advances Governor’s Middle Class Recovery Act
Cuts Taxes to Lowest Level in 70 Years for More Than 197,000 Taxpayers in Central New York
Under Governor’s Excelsior Scholarship Program, 80% of Families in Central New York Will Be Eligible to Attend New York’s 2- and 4-Year Public Colleges Tuition-Free
Budget Invests Record $25.8 Billion in Education Aid, a 4.4% Increase Over Last Year
Budget Invests $70 Million to Launch Phase II of Governor Cuomo’s Successful State Fair Modernization Plan
Budget Investment Drives $48.8 Million Transformation of Syracuse Hancock International Airport
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Central New York highlights of the 2018 State Budget, which builds on the state’s fiscal discipline over the last six years while strengthening the middle class, reducing taxes, and making smart investments in New York's future. For the seventh consecutive year, the budget is balanced and holds spending growth below 2 percent. A video showcasing the Central New York budget highlights is available here.
Highlights of the Middle Class Recovery Act in Central New York include:
- Extends tax rate on millionaires and preserves $3.4 billion in revenue.
- Begins Middle Class Tax Cut for 6 million New Yorkers. In the first four years, Central New York taxpayers will save $207 million – an average tax cut of $1,356. When fully phased-in, the cuts will provide an average single-year benefit of $670 to more than 197,000 taxpayers in the region.
- Invests $163 million to make college tuition free for middle-class families at SUNY and CUNY. There are 37,922 families in Central New York who are eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship.
- Increases School Aid by $1.1 billion, including $700 million increase in Foundation Aid, bringing the new Education Aid total to $25.8 billion, an increase of 4.4 percent.
- Doubles the New York State Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, providing 5,600 income tax filers in the Central NY Region with an average additional benefit of $195, totaling approximately $1.1 million in tax cuts for the region.
Highlights of strategic investments benefitting Central New York include:
- $2.5 billion for the statewide Clean Water Infrastructure Act
- $750 million for Round VII of the successful statewide Regional Economic Development Councils
- $200 million to create the Empire State Trail, the largest state multi-use trail in the nation
- $167 million for Central New York roads and bridges
- $89 million in Aid and Incentives to Municipalities
- $70 million to promote statewide tourism through I ❤ New York
- $50 million to launch State Fair Modernization Plan Phase II
- $35.8 million to transform Syracuse Hancock International Airport
- $20 million to build access to the State Fairgrounds
- $10 million to revitalize one urban center in Central New York as part of Phase II of the $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative
- $5 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction in Central New York
The FY 2018 State Budget also enables ridesharing statewide.
See details on statewide investments included in the FY 2018 New York State Budget here.
Other significant initiatives and investments included in the FY 2018 State Budget that will benefit Central New York include:
Investing in Education
Establishing the Governor’s Landmark Excelsior Scholarship
The Budget enacts the Governor’s landmark Excelsior Scholarship program to make college affordable for working- and middle-class families making up to $125,000 per year at SUNY and CUNY two- and four-year colleges. 37,922 Central New York families are eligible for the program. In addition, Central New York will receive $81 million in capital funding to maintain and upgrade its SUNY Higher Educational facilities.
Supporting K-12 Education
The FY 2018 Budget continues the progress made to strengthen educational outcomes and increase access to high-quality learning across New York State. The FY 2018 Budget increases Education Aid by $1.1 billion, including a $700 million increase in Foundation Aid, bringing the new Education Aid total to $25.8 billion or an increase of 4.4 percent. Under Governor Cuomo, School Aid has increased $6.2 billion or 32 percent over six years. The FY 2018 Budget increases School Aid in Central New York by $48.0 million, including a $31.6 million increase in Foundation Aid.
Lowering Taxes and Supporting Local Government
Middle Class Tax Cut for 197,000 Taxpayers in Central New York
The FY 2018 State Budget begins middle class tax cuts for New Yorkers. In the first four years, Central New York taxpayers will save $207 million – an average tax cut of $1,356. When fully phased-in, the cuts will provide an average single-year benefit of $670 to more than 197,000 taxpayers in the region.
Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit Doubled for 5,600 Families in Central New York
The FY 2018 State Budget enacts an enhanced middle class child care tax credit that will help more than 200,000 middle-class families make their child care more affordable. The new tax credit would supplement the current New York State Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit and more than double the benefit for families earning between $60,000 and $150,000, bringing the total credit from $169 to $376 per household on average.
The enhancement of the child and dependent care credit will provide 5,600 income tax filers in the Central NY Region with an average additional benefit of $195, totaling approximately $1.1 million in tax cuts for the region.
Cutting Property Taxes and Costs of Local Government
The FY 2018 Budget continues the Governor's efforts to relieve the property tax burden and builds on the success of the 2 percent property tax cap. The typical New York homeowner pays 2.5 times more in local property taxes than in state income taxes. This Budget will empower citizens to control the cost of local government by requiring counties to assemble local governments to find efficiencies for real, recurring taxpayer savings. The shared services plans will be required to go through hearings and a public comment period.
State Aid to Local Municipalities
The FY 2018 State Budget maintains $89 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities for Central New York.
Providing Budget Flexibility to React to Potential Loss of Federal Aid
Given the looming threats from Washington, the FY 2018 Budget provides flexibility for the state to adjust spending during the fiscal year to account for a significant loss of federal aid. If either federal Medicaid or non-Medicaid federal support is reduced by $850 million or more, the Director of the Budget will develop a plan to make uniform spending reductions. This plan would take effect automatically unless the legislature passes their own plan within 90 days.
Investing in Jobs & Infrastructure
$50 Million to Launch Second Phase of State Fair Modernization
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $50 million for Phase Two of building the new New York State Fairgrounds. Phase Two builds on the first successful $50 million investment the State has made under the leadership Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Bringing Saab Defense and Security USA Headquarters and R&D Capacity to Central New York with $30 Million in Incentives
The FY 2018 State Budget includes the relocation of Saab, a multinational company with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defense and civil security. Saab will invest $55 million to relocate the North American headquarters of Saab Defense and Security, USA, LLC, to East Syracuse in Onondaga County. The move, in conjunction with other undertakings, will create 260 new, high-tech jobs while retaining Saab’s existing local workforce of more than 450 employees in Central New York. Saab’s significant investment, job creation and retention in New York is supported by an incentive package to stimulate industrial growth in the region.
$100 Million for Round II of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Including $10 Million for One Central New York Community
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $100 million for Round II of the successful Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The Initiative was created last year to support transformative housing, economic development, transportation, and community projects to attract and retain residents, visitors, and businesses to downtowns. The first round awarded $100 million last year to ten communities that are currently experiencing population loss or economic decline to develop revitalization plans for their downtown area, developed in collaboration with policy and planning experts.
$35.8 Million to Transform Hancock International Airport
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $35.8 million to drive the $48.8 million transformation of Syracuse Hancock International Airport. The investment will turn the existing archaic facility into a state-of-the-art transportation hub to meet the needs of the 21st century traveler. The project includes a wide-scale redesign of the grand hall, food, beverage and retail concessions, and the exterior façade. Additionally, a new Regional Aviation History Museum, glass pedestrian bridge, and eco-friendly roof will be built along with new flooring and furniture to and furniture to create a welcoming environment for travelers from across the globe. The project is expected to create more than 850 construction jobs.
$20 Million for State Fair Transportation Infrastructure Improvements
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $20 million through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative to construct a new on-ramp to I-690 West and other improvements to the State Fairgrounds' Orange parking lot. Other Fair enhancements will include the construction of a new Aerial Sky Ride and offering new, diverse events to attract visitors year-round.
Initiate New Study to Determine Viability of Tunnel Options to Transform Outdated I-81 Viaduct in Syracuse
The FY 2018 State Budget supports a study, currently underway, to determine the feasibility of tunnel options to replace the I-81 viaduct in Syracuse, which is nearing the end of its useful life. The study will evaluate these options based on the following criteria, including but not limited to: purpose and need, constructability, property impacts, and cost. The study will examine possible replacement options, including a tunnel, community grid, depressed highway, combination community grid/tunnel or combination community grid/depressed highway.
$167 Million to Strengthen Roads and Bridges in Central New York
Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, New York State is executing the largest infrastructure and development plan in the nation. The State’s $100 billion plan is reimagining our airports, increasing the capacity of our transit hubs, modernizing our subway, bus and commuter rail networks, and rebuilding roads and bridges across the state. The FY 2018 State Budget supports the following investments in Central New York transportation infrastructure:
- $44.9 million in funding CHIPS, PAVE NY, and Extreme Winter Recovery programs
- $9 million to restore the roadway surface on Interstate 81 from the Cortland County line to the Route 11 on ramp to Interstate 81 north of Route 20, Cortland County
- $4.9 million to restore the roadway surface in both directions of Route 20 between Route 175 (Lee Mulroy Road) and Route 80, Onondaga County
- $3.3 million to restore the roadway surface on West Genesee Street between Route 326 and William Street, City of Auburn
- $3.2 million to construct a new center two-way Left turn lane between Chamberlin Drive and Sunview Drive, Town and Village of Elbridge
- $3.1 million to resurface Allen Road from Bear Road to West Taft Road, Onondaga County
- $3.1 million to repair and replace highway retaining walls along Route 41A in the Town of Homer and Route 90 in the Town of Locke.
- $2.2 million to improve the safety of the intersection of NY 481 and Oswego County Route 45, Town of Volney
- $2.2 million to restore the roadway in both directions of Route 31 from to the Cicero-North Syracuse High School, Town of Cicero
- $1.5 million to construct a new left turn lane or a roundabout at the State Route 13 and State Route 31 intersection, Town of Lenox
- $1.5 million to replace the bridge carrying Route 221 over the Tributary to East Branch of Owego Creek, Cortland County
- $1.2 million to rehabilitate the Blodgett Mills Road bridge over the Tioughnioga River, Cortland County
- $1.1 million to restore the roadway in both directions of NY 481 from north of County Route 57 to Utica Street, Oswego County
- $1 million to replace the bridge carrying Benson Road over Dutch Hollow Brook, Town of Skaneateles
- $1 million to rehabilitate the stone arch bridge carrying West Genesee Street over Onondaga Creek, City of Syracuse.
- $1 million to improve motorist and pedestrian safety on US 20 in the Hamlet of Nelson, Madison County
$33.3 Million in Aid for Public Transportation Systems in Central New York
Protecting the Environment for Future Generations
$200 Million to Create the Nation’s Largest Multi-Use Trail Network: The Empire State Trail
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $200 million to complete the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway trails and create the Empire State Trail, the largest state multi-use trail in the nation. The 750-mile trail will provide new opportunities for hiking and biking along scenic vistas and through charming, historic communities, driving tourism and economic activity across New York. The Empire State Trail will span the state, from the New York Harbor up through the Adirondack Mountains to the Canadian border – and from the shores of Lake Erie along the historic Erie Canal to the heart of the Capital Region.
$5 Million to Rehabilitate State Parks and Historic Sites
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $120 million to rehabilitate State Parks through the New York Works Program – an increase of $30 million from FY 2017. Central New York State Parks and Historic Sites are expected to receive $5 million in New York Works funding this fiscal year.
$2.5 Million to Restore Swimming Facilities at Fair Haven Beach State Park
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $2.5 million to completely renovate two heavily used swimming beach bathhouses, including new interior finishes and fixtures Fair Haven Beach State Park on the shore of Lake Ontario.
$1.3 Million to Upgrade Infrastructure at Fort Ontario State Historic Site
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $1.3 million to address critical health and safety issues at Fort Ontario State Historic Site by modernizing electrical, water and sewer infrastructure at the fort, which dates back to the early 1840s.
$2 Million to Upgrade Drinking Water Systems at Auburn and Owasco
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $2 million to support the design, engineering, and construction of upgrades to the drinking water treatment systems in the City of Auburn and Town of Owasco. Both systems draw water from Owasco Lake, which has recently been impaired by cyanotoxins produced by harmful blue-green algae blooms. Together, these two public systems serve nearly 50,000 people in Cayuga County.
Record Environmental Protection Fund
The FY 2018 State Budget continues to support the Environmental Protection Fund at $300 million – the highest level of funding in the program's history. The statewide investment includes $41 million for solid waste programs, $86 million for parks and recreation, $154 million for open space programs and $19 million for the climate change mitigation and adaptation program. Investments in Central New York include:
- Zoos, Botanical Gardens, and Aquaria. The EPF budget includes $15 million for zoos, botanical gardens and aquaria statewide in FY 2018. While the awards for 2017 have yet to be determined, in 2016, the following Central NY zoos, botanical gardens, and aquariums received more than $432,000 in grants from this program:
- Lime Hollow Nature Center
- Council of Park Friends, Inc.
- Baltimore Woods Nature Center, Inc.
- Onondaga County Department of Parks and Recreation
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County
- Research Foundation of SUNY
- Municipal Parks. The EPF also includes $20 million for Municipal Parks statewide in FY 2018. While the 2017 awards have yet to be determined, in 2016, the following Central New York institutions and localities received more than $1.7 million in grants from this program:
- Seward House Museum
- Community Preservation Committee, Inc.
- The Research Foundation for SUNY (Oswego)
- Town of Richland
- City of Cortland
- Open Space Institute
Investing in Healthcare and Wellness
More Than $101.5 Million to Transform and Enhance Health Care Delivery at Central New York Health Systems
The FY 2018 State Budget includes re-appropriations of $101.5 million to dramatically transform and enhance the delivery of health care in Central New York, in addition to the FY 2018 State Budget’s new $500 million statewide capital program under which regional awards will be made later this year. The $101.5 million investments supported by re-appropriations in the FY 2018 State Budget fund essential projects will improve patient care and make facilities more viable in the long term. This funding is a portion of a $3.3 billion commitment made by New York State over four years to help health care providers statewide fund critical capital and infrastructure improvements, as well as integrate and further develop health systems.
$5 Million to Combat the Heroin and Opioid Crisis in Central New York
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $5 million to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in Central New York communities by supporting prevention, treatment and recovery programs targeted toward chemical dependency, residential service opportunities, and public awareness and education activities. This funding supports: 250 opioid treatment program slots, one community coalition, two family support navigators, two peer engagement programs, one adolescent clubhouse, one recovery community and outreach center and one 24/7 urgent access center.
Direct Support to Leverage $7 Million for Salary Increases for 3,000 Direct Care Workers in the Central New York
The FY 2018 State Budget adds new State funding that will leverage $7 million for annual funding for salary increases for direct care staff and direct support professionals in Central New York. The funding increase will support 3,000 employees working in the nonprofit sector that provide services on behalf of the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, the Office of Mental Health and the Office for Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. These providers will also receive funding to support a 6.5 percent salary increase, which will be phased-in over a two-year period. The funding will also help non-profits mitigate recruitment and retention challenges and promote further professionalism in the industry.