Governor Unveils New Renderings of $53.7 Million Transformation of Greater Rochester International Airport 2018 State Budget Advances Governor’s Middle Class Recovery Act Cuts Taxes to Lowest Level in 70 Years for More Than 321,000 Taxpayers in Finger Lakes Region Under Governor’s Excelsior Scholarship Program, 79% of Families in Finger Lakes Region 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 $20 Million for Supportive Housing in the City of Rochester and $10 Million to Launch Photonics Venture Challenge Video Showcasing Finger Lakes Budget Highlights Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Finger Lakes Region 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 Finger Lakes budget highlights is available here.
Highlights of the Middle Class Recovery Act in the Finger Lakes Region 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, Finger Lakes Region taxpayers will save $333 million – an average tax cut of $1,345. When fully phased-in, the cuts will provide an average single-year benefit of $664 to more than 321,000 taxpayers in the region.
- Invests $163 million to make college tuition free for middle-class families at SUNY and CUNY. There are 55,747 families in the Finger Lakes Region 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 9,100 income tax filers in the Finger Lakes Region with an average additional benefit of $193, totaling approximately $1.8 million in tax cuts for the region.
Highlights of strategic investments benefitting the Finger Lakes Region include:
- $2.5 billion for the statewide Clean Water Infrastructure Act
- $750 million for Round VII of the successful statewide Regional Economic Development Councils
- $209 million for roads and bridges in the Finger Lakes Region
- $200 million to create the Empire State Trail, the largest state multi-use trail in the nation
- $103 million for municipalities consisting of the following:
- $99.8 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities
- $3.2 million in Video Lottery Terminal Impact Aid
- $70 million to promote statewide tourism through I ❤ New York
- $20 Million to build supportive housing in the City of Rochester
- $20 Million to support the establishment of the REMADE Institute at RIT
- $12 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction in the Finger Lakes Region
- $10 million to launch the Photonics Venture Challenge
- $10 million to revitalize one urban center in the Finger Lakes Region as part of Phase II of the $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative
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 the Finger Lakes Region 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. 55,747 Finger Lakes families are eligible for the program. In addition, the Finger Lakes will receive $16.7 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 the Finger Lakes by $60.2 million, including a $41.0 million increase in Foundation Aid.
Empire State After-School Program
The FY 2018 Budget increases the state’s after-school investment with $35 million in new funding for public after-school programs in the state’s 16 Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative, including Rochester, as well as in communities in the state with high rates of child poverty. This new funding will create an additional 22,000 spots for students in after-school programs.
"Upstate matters. The Upstate economy matters, and having Uber come to Upstate New York was essential - and that is going to be a reality in 90 days."
Lowering Taxes and Supporting Local Government
Middle Class Tax Cut for 321,000 Taxpayers in the Finger Lakes Region
The FY 2018 State Budget begins middle class tax cuts for New Yorkers. In the first four years, Finger Lakes Region taxpayers will save $333 million – an average tax cut of $1,345. When fully phased-in, the cuts will provide an average single-year benefit of $664 to more than 321,000 taxpayers in the region.
Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit Doubled for 9,100 Families in the Finger Lakes Region
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 9,100 income tax filers in the Finger Lakes Region with an average additional benefit of $193, totaling approximately $1.8 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 $103 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities in the Finger Lakes, including $99.8 million in aid and incentives and $3.2 million in Video Lottery Terminal Impact Aid.
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
$39.8 Million to Reimagine the Greater Rochester International Airport
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $39.8 million in funding for the Greater Rochester International Airport to activate a $53.7 million project to transform the outdated hub into a state-of-the-art transportation center. The project will include a wide-scale redesign of the terminal building to incorporate sustainable elements such as solar panels and rainwater collection, new signage, enhanced security measures, new technology to improve accessibility, and premier shopping and dining options to improve the overall traveler experience. Governor Cuomo unveiled new renderings of the airport which are available here.
$209 Million to Strengthen Roads and Bridges in the Finger Lakes Region
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 Finger Lakes Region transportation infrastructure:
- $55.6 million in funding CHIPS, PAVE NY, and Extreme Winter Recovery programs
- $49 million to reconstruct the Interstate 390/490 interchange in the Town of Gates, Monroe County
- $11.0 million to repair six canal bridges over the Erie Canal, Orleans County
- $6.0 million to reconstruct Main Street from Rose Drive to West Pearl Street in The Village of Newark, Wayne County
- $4.7 million to restore the roadway surface on the Lake Ontario State Parkway from Route 237 to Route 19 in the Towns of Kendall & Hamlin in Orleans & Monroe Counties
- $2.5 million to replace the Allen Padgham Road Bridge over Ganargua Creek in the Town of Farmington, Ontario County
- $1.4 million to replace the Bethany Center Road Bridge over Route 20 in the Town of Bethany, Genesee County
- $1.0 million to restore the roadway surface on Route 63 from Route 20 to the Batavia City Line, In the Towns of Batavia, Bethany, Pavilion and Stafford, Genesee County
The FY 2018 Budget also provides $40.3 million for public transportation systems in the Finger Lakes region.
$10 Million to Launch the Photonics Venture Challenge in Rochester
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $10 million to establish a multi-year Photonics Venture Challenge in Rochester – the first of its kind in the world. The business competition will aim to support start-up companies that commercialize developing technologies through a business accelerator program, which is modeled on the internationally recognized 43North initiative in Buffalo.
$20 Million for the New REMADE Institute at RIT
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $20 million to support the creation of the Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions Institute, to develop clean energy technology that supports recycling and waste reduction. RIT was chosen to lead the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort, as part of the agency’s Manufacturing USA initiative.
$2.1 Million to Expand Datto, Inc. in Downtown Rochester
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $2.1 million to support the expansion of Datto, Inc. in the Metropolitan Building in downtown Rochester. This expansion will create up to 200 new high-tech jobs, bringing the company’s total employment to approximately 350. Datto was founded in 2007 by Rochester Institute of Technology graduate Austin McChord and has developed into a world leading company for backup and disaster recovery services. Datto’s expansion is being supported through Governor Cuomo’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative.
$5 Million to Establish the Finger Lakes Welcome Center in Geneva
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $5 million to establish a new Finger Lakes Tourism Center in Geneva. The Finger Lakes Welcome Center will become a vital component of New York's tourism industry which has an economic impact of more than $100 billion and supports more than 900,000 jobs. The tourism upgrades at the Geneva Visitors Center will serve as an anchor for showcasing information on world-class destinations and historic sites in the Finger Lakes and continue to drive economic development in the region.
The improved facility, which will operate year-round, will include an updated interior featuring historical information and interactive tourism kiosks, Taste NY store, children's playground, Electric Vehicle charging stations, Farmers' Market and more.
$1.22 Million to Support Wine and Craft Beverage Research and Development
The FY 2018 State Budget includes support for state-of-the-art research and development to give New York State a strategic advantage in the wine and craft beverage industry. Funding is allocated by the following:
$1,020,000 for the Wine and Grape Foundation, located in Canandaigua, to support research and promotion for this key Finger Lakes industry.
$200,000 for testing and evaluating New York State hop and barley varieties in the Evaluation and Testing Program at the NYS Experiment Station in Geneva. This will increase availability of locally grown hops and barley to be used by craft beverage producers.
$100 Million for Round II of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Including $10 Million for One Finger Lakes 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.
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.
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. Finger Lakes Region State Parks and Historic Sites funding this fiscal year supports Hamlin Beach State Park and Sampson State Park.
$3.4 Million to Upgrade Infrastructure at Hamlin Beach State Park
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $3.4 million to upgrade infrastructure at Hamlin Beach State Park. The park, which is located on Lake Ontario, will construct a new sewage treatment system to address critical health and environmental issues.
$1.2 Million to Revitalize Sampson State Park
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $1.2 million for Sampson State Park on Seneca Lake, which feature’s one of the park system’s largest campgrounds. Funding will help renovate deteriorated restroom and shower buildings that serve visitors to park’s more than 300 campsites.
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 the Finger Lakes Region include:
- Finger Lakes – Lake Ontario Watershed Protection Alliance: The EPF includes $2.3 million to support partnership and implementation of action plans to protect and enhance water quality in the watershed.
- 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 Finger Lakes zoos, botanical gardens, and aquariums received more than $813,000 in grants from this program:
- County of Genesee
- County of Monroe
- Genesee Country Village and Museum
- Wild Wings, Inc.
- Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park
- Rochester Museum and Science Center
- Buffalo Audubon Society, Inc.
- 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 Finger Lakes institutions and localities received more than $2 million in grants from this program:
- Wayne County
- National Women's Hall of Fame
- Canandaigua Cemetery Association
- Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park
- George Eastman Museum
- Village of Albion
Investing in Healthcare and Wellness
$20 Million to Create Supportive Housing in the City of Rochester
The FY 2018 State Budget agreement includes $20 million for the creation of supportive housing units for the City of Rochester. These supportive housing projects will help combat homelessness by providing an array of services for vulnerable individuals, including employment training, counseling, and assistance in obtaining and maintaining primary and mental healthcare.
$12 Million to Combat the Heroin and Opioid Crisis in the Finger Lakes Region
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $12 million to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in Finger Lakes Region communities by supporting prevention, treatment and recovery programs targeted toward chemical dependency, residential service opportunities, and public awareness and education activities. This funding supports: 25 residential treatment beds, 150 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.
More Than $95.8 Million to Transform and Enhance Health Care Delivery at Finger Lakes Region Health Systems
The FY 2018 State Budget includes re-appropriations of $95.8 million to dramatically transform and enhance the delivery of health care in the Finger Lakes Region, 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 $95.8 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.
Direct Support to Leverage $18 Million for Salary Increases for 8,000 Direct Care Workers in the Finger Lakes
The FY 2018 State Budget adds new State funding that will leverage $18 million for annual funding for salary increases for direct care staff and direct support professionals in the Finger Lakes. The funding increase will support 8,000 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.