FY 2019 Executive Budget Protects Taxpayers from Washington's Federal Assault
Advances Plan to Create Road, Transit & Economic Development Hub in the Town of Woodbury
Governor Also Highlights Plan to Modernize Stewart Airport
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Mid-Hudson Valley regional highlights of the FY 2019 Executive Budget--advancing the state's efforts to deliver on the promise of progressive government by protecting taxpayers against devastating federal action, strengthening the middle class, cutting taxes and making smart investments in the Mid-Hudson Valley's future. For the eighth consecutive year, the Budget is balanced and holds spending growth below two percent.
"New York has made tremendous progress over the past eight years by restoring fiscal discipline to the state, making smart investments in economic development and infrastructure, and ensuring the state is a beacon of progress for the nation," Governor Cuomo said. "The FY 2019 Budget builds on our strong record and continues to move New York forward by protecting taxpayers against the federal assault, creating jobs and investing in education, and implementing bold policies to make New York more just and fair for all."
Highlights of the FY 2019 State Budget for the Mid-Hudson Valley:
- Continues Middle Class Tax Cut - in 2018, 489,115 Mid-Hudson taxpayers will see an average tax cut of $298, rising to 648,238 Mid-Hudson taxpayers seeing an average tax cut of $831 in 2025.
- Raises income eligibility for Excelsior Scholarship to $110,000 for middle-class families; 41 percent of Mid-Hudson students attending public college now go tuition-free as a result of the program.
- Increases School Aid for the Mid-Hudson Valley by $79.8 million, including a $22.0 million increase in Foundation Aid - bringing total funding to $2.4 billion.
- Includes $12 million for higher education infrastructure at SUNY.
- Continues Historic $300 Million Environmental Protection Fund Investment.
- Advances $2.5 billion for the statewide Clean Water Infrastructure Act.
- Launches Round III of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative.
- Advances plan to create Woodbury Road, Transit and Economic Development Hub.
- Includes $10 million in capital funding for Belleayre Ski Resort.
- Supports $28 Million Sake Brewery in Hyde Park.
- Supports $10.2 Million Expansion of Café Spice Food Manufacturing Facility in Beacon.
The FY 2019 Budget builds on our strong record and continues to move New York forward...
Significant initiatives and investments included in the FY 2019 State Budget that will benefit the Mid-Hudson Valley include:
Keeping New York Economically Competitive
The FY 2019 Executive Budget takes aggressive action to protect New Yorkers from the devastating impacts of Federal tax assault, continues the phase-in of the middle class tax cuts, advances efforts to improve New York's business climate, and improves the fairness of the tax system.
Fights the Federal Tax Assault
The recently enacted federal tax law is an assault on New York. By gutting the deductibility of state and local taxes, the law raises middle class families' property and state income taxes. Under Governor Cuomo, New York is fighting back against the federal plan and the loss of both income tax deductibility and property tax deductibility.
The new federal law disproportionally and adversely impacts the State of New York, which already sends $48 billion more each year to Washington than it receives in federal dollars. According to a recent report released by the State Department of Tax and Finance, the elimination of full SALT deductibility alone will cost New York an additional $14.3 billion.
In the Mid-Hudson Valley, the elimination of full SALT deductibility will impact 334,000 Mid-Hudson taxpayers.
Governor Cuomo has launched a three-pronged effort to fight the federal tax assault on New York. The first step is the multi-state coalition to sue the federal government, which now includes New York, Maryland, New Jersey and Connecticut. The second prong of the effort is to launch a repeal-and-replace strategy, and the third prong is to explore the feasibility of a major shift in the structure of State tax policy.
New York has engaged tax experts, both houses of the legislature, employers, and other stakeholders in a thorough and collaborative process to produce a proposal that promotes fairness for New York's taxpayers and safeguards the competitiveness of New York's economy. 30-day amendments to the Executive Budget include preserving SALT deductibility through an optional employer-based system, creating new funds for charitable donations, and de-coupling New York from the federal tax code.
Continues the Middle Class Tax Cut
The Budget supports the phase-in of the middle class tax cut. In 2018, 489,115 Mid-Hudson taxpayers will see an average tax cut of $298. In 2025, 648,238 Mid-Hudson taxpayers will see an average tax cut of $831. Once fully phased in, the new rates will be the lowest in more than 70 years - dropping from 6.45 to 5.5 percent for incomes ranging from $40,000 - $150,000, and 6.65 to 6 percent for incomes ranging from $150,000 - $300,000. The new lower tax rates will save middle class New Yorkers $4.2 billion, annually, by 2025.
Advances Shared Services
With the Shared Services initiative, Governor Cuomo has made a historic commitment to reducing local property taxes for millions of New Yorkers. The first shared services plans developed under New York State's County-Wide Shared Services Initiative law include 389 proposals, totaling $208 million in projected savings in 2018. To build on this success, the budget includes $225 million to make shared services panels permanent, correcting several bureaucratic hurdles that prevent localities from sharing services, and matches savings.
Investing in Jobs & Infrastructure
Advances Plan to Modernize Stewart Airport
The Governor's agenda for 2018 advances a plan to modernize, expand and rebrand Stewart Airport. This airport modernization will increase access to world-class destinations and attractions throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley by supporting the construction of a permanent U.S. Customs and Border Protection federal inspection station. The new federal inspection station will allow the airport to handle both domestic and international flights, while providing an improved passenger experience for all travelers. Additionally, as part of this modernization effort and to improve its name recognition, the airport will be rebranded as New York Stewart International Airport.
Advances Plan to Create Woodbury Road, Transit and Economic Development Hub
The Governor's agenda for 2018 includes the creation of a road, transit and economic development hub in the town of Woodbury. The construction project, which began in November, will bolster tourism and economic growth in the region, while reducing congestion, backups and accidents by more than 50 percent around Woodbury Common. Through the use of a Project Labor Agreement, the road, transit and economic development hub is expected to create 700 jobs over the course of the project.
Drives Belleayre Ski Resort Capital Improvements
In 2017, Governor Cuomo announced an $8 million investment to build a gondola at Belleayre Ski Resort. Since the opening of the gondola, the number of visitors at the resort went up by nearly 10 percent. The FY 2019 Budget includes an additional $10 million in new capital funding for strategic modern upgrades to Belleayre, continuing the resort's transformation.
Supports $10.2 Million Expansion of Café Spice Food Manufacturing Facility in Beacon
The FY 2019 Budget supports Café Spice, a family owned fresh prepared food company, investing $10.2 million to expand in the Hudson Valley. The project will retain 133 jobs and add an additional 151 jobs over the next 5 years. Empire State Development offered incentives valued at up to $5 million. Due to ESD incentives, the company was able to remain in New York State and add an additional 151 jobs to the Hudson Valley economy.
Supports $28 Million Sake Brewery in Hyde Park
The FY 2019 Budget supports a landmark partnership between Asahi Shuzo International Co., Ltd., maker of world-renowned DASSAI premium Junmai Daiginjo sake, and the Culinary Institute of America to establish New York's largest sake brewery and the first sake brewery in the Hudson Valley—furthering the education and awareness of sake within the United States. The CIA—with the support of Asahi Shuzo—will develop curriculum, certification programs, workshops, and special events and tastings. As part of the collaboration, Asahi Shuzo will build its first U.S. brewery in Hyde Park, less than a mile from The CIA campus. Construction on the new brewery - located at the corner of Route 9 and St. Andrews Road - is anticipated to commence in spring 2018, with a scheduled opening in early 2019. At full capacity, the brewery will produce 332,640 gallons of sake a year.
To encourage Asahi Shuzo's growth in New York, Empire State Development offered the Japan-based brewery up to $588,235 in performance-based tax credits through the Excelsior Jobs Program. Asahi Shuzo will invest more than $28 million in the facility and create 32 new jobs.
The CIA and Asahi Shuzo will also seek research and development opportunities to further identify ways in which sake and the by-product from the sake-making process can be used to expand food flavors and culinary techniques, along with the potential for new lines of sake-based products.
Rebuilds Local Roads and Bridges
The FY 2019 Budget includes $47.4 million in funding for local roads and bridges in the Mid-Hudson Valley through the CHIPS program. In addition, the budget provides $10.8 million in funding for local roads in the Mid-Hudson Valley through the PAVE NY program. The Budget also provides record transit aid of $56.7 million for Westchester County and $4.8 billion for the MTA.
Advancing the Women's Agenda
Governor Cuomo has put forward a robust 2018 Women's Agenda for New York, with more than 30 proposals to advance equality and promote opportunity in women and girls' health, safety, workplace, and family life. The Governor has also proposed legislation to prevent public dollars from being used to settle sexual harassment claims against individuals, void forced arbitration policies in employee contracts, and mandate that any companies that do business with the state disclose the number of sexual harassment adjudications and nondisclosure agreements they have executed. Additionally, the Governor has outlined a comprehensive plan to outlaw "sextortion" and non-consensual pornography, often known as "revenge porn." More information on the Governor's 2018 Women's Agenda is available here, here and here.
Ensuring Equal Justice for All
Governor Cuomo has advanced significant criminal justice reforms throughout his time in office, improving every stage of the justice system from arrest to community re-entry. Three major reforms were passed this past year, including Raising the Age of criminal responsibility, extending the landmark Hurrell-Harring settlement's indigent criminal defense reforms to the entire state, and requiring law enforcement to video-record interrogations for serious offenses, as well as allowing properly-conducted witness identification into evidence at trial.
In 2018, New York will build on this bold progress by restoring basic fairness to our state's criminal justice system with a multi-pronged package of reforms, including:
- Eliminate monetary bail for people facing misdemeanor and non-violent felony charges;
- Expand the discovery process to include disclosure of information in a timely manner, including evidence and information favorable to the defense; intended exhibits; expert opinion evidence; witnesses' criminal history information; and search warrant information;
- Reduce unnecessary delays and adjournments in court proceedings, requiring that people held in custody - not just their attorneys - consent to a speedy trial waiver that must be approved by a judge and ensure that defendants are not being held unnecessarily when the prosecution fails to meet deadlines;
- Ban all asset seizures, unless an arrest is made, and enhance reporting requirements for local law enforcement and District Attorneys; and
- Improve the re-entry process for individuals transitioning from incarceration to their communities.
Advancing the Democracy Agenda
As proven in the 2016 election, social media is a highly utilized tool for placing and viewing political advertisements, yet political advertisements on social media platforms are not regulated in the same way as advertisements on traditional media platforms. This has created new opportunities for unscrupulous and disruptive actors to improperly influence our political process. This year, Governor Cuomo has put forward the strongest and most comprehensive policy to ensure that elections in New York State remain fair and transparent and that online political ads are archived for all to see, including:
- Increase Transparency in Digital Political Ads;
- Expands New York State's definition of political communication to include paid internet and digital advertisements
- Requires digital platforms to maintain a public file of all political advertisements purchased by a person or group for publication on the platform
- Requires online platforms to make reasonable efforts to ensure that foreign individuals and entities are not purchasing political advertisements in order to influence the American electorate
- Institute Early Voting;
- Adopt Automatic Voter Registration;
- Allow Same-Day Voter Registration;
- Enhance Statewide Election Cyber Security Resilience and Defend Against Election Disruption;
- Create the Election Support Center; and
- Develop and Deploy the Elections Cyber Security Support Toolkit.
Investing in Education
Supports K-12 Education
The FY 2019 Budget continues the progress made to strengthen educational outcomes and increase access to high-quality learning across New York State. The FY 2019 Executive Budget reflects the Governor's strong commitment to education through an increase to School Aid in the Mid-Hudson region by $79.8 million, including a $22.0 million increase in Foundation Aid, for total increase of 3.41 percent.
Continues the Landmark Excelsior Scholarship
The Budget raises the income eligibility for the Excelsior Scholarship to $110,000 for middle class families. The FY 2019 budget invests $118 million to expand the program in its second year. Under the scholarship, 41 percent, or nearly 17,200 undergraduate fulltime resident students enrolled in public colleges from the Mid-Hudson region attend tuition-free. In addition, the Mid-Hudson Valley will receive $12 million in capital funding to maintain and upgrade its SUNY Higher Educational facilities.
Protecting and Promoting the Environment
Continues Historic Environmental Protection Fund Investment
The FY 2019 State Budget continues to support the Environmental Protection Fund at $300 million - the highest level of funding in the program's history.
Invests in State Parks
The New York Works program includes $90 million statewide to rehabilitate state parks continuing the infusion of capital dollars for New York parks.
Investing in Healthcare and Wellness
Combats the Opioid Epidemic
At Governor Cuomo's direction, New York has taken bold steps in confronting the local effects of a nationwide crisis of deadly addiction to opioids, with significant increases in treatment capacity, strong support services, the removal of barriers to accessing high quality treatment, and public awareness and education activities. However, despite this progress, far too many New Yorkers continue to suffer at the hands of addiction. To address this public health crisis, Governor Cuomo is proposing a comprehensive plan to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for perpetuating the epidemic; strengthen protections against addiction stemming from prescription opioids; take steps to eliminate insurance barriers to addiction treatment and recovery services; and direct state agencies to implement regulatory and policy reforms that increase access to substance use disorder services. The Governor also announced this week that a 30-day budget amendment will be advanced to add 11 fentanyl analogs to the state controlled substances schedule and provide the New York State Health Commissioner the authority to add any new drugs that have been added to the federal schedule, to the state controlled substances schedule. Governor Cuomo also announced an additional amendment that will add 36 different chemical compositions, commonly referred to as K2, to the state's controlled substances list.
Maintains Medicaid Eligibility for DACA Recipients
The FY 2019 Budget ensures recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy will remain eligible for state-funded Medicaid, regardless of any federal changes to or termination of the program. There are approximately 42,000 DACA recipients in New York, many of whom are at risk of losing their employment-based health insurance if the federal government changes or terminates the program. Under New York law, DACA recipients are considered PRUCOL (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law) and eligible for state-funded Medicaid or CHIP.