Doubles I ❤ New York Advertising Support for the North Country to $7 Million
FY 2018 State Budget Advances Governor’s Middle Class Recovery Act
Cuts Taxes to Lowest Level in 70 Years for 86,000 Taxpayers in North Country
Under Governor’s Excelsior Scholarship Program, 85% of Families in North Country 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 to Transform Whiteface and Gore Mountains & Initial Funding for $32 Million Master Plan for the “Gateway to the Adirondacks” at Frontier Town
Video Showcasing North Country Budget Highlights Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the North Country 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 North Country budget highlights is available here.
Highlights of the Middle Class Recovery Act in the North Country 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, North Country taxpayers will save $79 million – an average tax cut of $1,195. When fully phased-in, the cuts will provide an average single-year benefit of $592 to more than 86,000 taxpayers in the region.
- Invests $163 million to make college tuition free for middle-class families at SUNY and CUNY. There are 18,542 families in the North Country who are eligible for the Excelsior Scholarship.
- Increases Education 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 2,300 income tax filers in the North Country with an average additional benefit of $187.
Highlights of strategic investments benefitting the North Country 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
- $75 million for North Country roads and bridges
- $38 million to create North Country Economic Development Hub at Plattsburgh International Airport
- $32 million Master Plan to build the “Gateway to the Adirondacks” at Frontier Town
- $20 million to transform Gore and Whiteface Mountains
- $13.4 million for municipalities consisting of the following:
- $13.2 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities
- $217,000 in Small Government Assistance Aid for Essex County ($124,000), Franklin County ($72,000) and Hamilton County ($21,300)
- $10 million to revitalize one urban center in the North Country as part of Phase II of the $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative
- $7 million to promote North Country tourism through I ❤ New York – doubling last year’s commitment
- $7 million to combat heroin and opioid addiction in the North Country Region
"We’re going to double the advertising budget for the Adirondacks to tell the story now of Whiteface, Gore, Frontier Town and the new Adirondacks with the new face. That’s going to make a difference."
The FY 2018 State Budget also constructs the North Country and Adirondacks Welcome Centers, and 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 North Country 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. 18,542 North Country families are eligible for the program. In addition, the North Country will receive $22.6 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 North Country by $37.2 million, including a $17.9 million increase in Foundation Aid, for total increase of 4.98 percent.
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 Watertown, 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.
Lowering Taxes and Supporting Local Government
Middle Class Tax Cut for 86,000 Taxpayers in the North Country
The FY 2018 State Budget begins middle class tax cuts for New Yorkers. In the first four years, North Country taxpayers will save $79 million – an average tax cut of $1,195. When fully phased-in, the cuts will provide an average single-year benefit of $592 to 86,000 taxpayers in the region.
Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit Doubled for 2,300 Families in the North Country
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 2,300 income tax filers in the North Country Region with an average additional benefit of $187.
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
Additionally, the FY 2018 State Budget maintains $13.2 million in Aid and Incentives for Municipalities for the North Country and $217,000 in Small Government Assistance Aid, including $124,000 for Essex County, $72,000 for Franklin County, and $21,300 for Hamilton County.
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
Master Plan to Redevelop Frontier Town into the “Gateway to the Adirondacks” at Northway Exit 29 in North Hudson
The FY 2018 State Budget includes funding for the $32 million public private partnership to create a world-class tourism destination at the site of Frontier Town in the Adirondacks. The Master Plan for the Gateway to the Adirondacks includes:
- A DEC campground and day use area along the Schroon River
- Equestrian camping and trail riding area
- Visitor Information Center to introduce visitors to the world class recreation destinations in the Adirondack Park
- Event center with tourist accommodations
- Interactive exhibits in historic structures highlighting the past, present, and future of the Adirondack forest products and local food industries
Additionally, Paradox Brewery plans to expand its brewing operations at the new Gateway location in 2017, as well as open a tavern offering a selection of New York beers and food. Paradox currently operates a tasting room at Schroon Lake. In order to encourage the expansion and creation of 22 new jobs, Empire State Development has offered up to $200,000 in performance-based incentives, including a grant and Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits.
Doubles I ❤ New York Advertising Support for the North Country to $7 Million
The Budget includes $7 million for I ❤New York tourism and business marketing in the North Country, doubling last year's commitment. This unprecedented investment builds on the success of the state’s TV and web advertising, tourism centers and Taste NY promotions. Since 2011, $150 million in state investments have returned an additional $9 billion increase in direct visitor spending, rising from $54 billion to $63 billion.
Support for ORDA and $20 Million to Transform Whiteface and Gore Mountains
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $20 million to enhance the current facilities at Whiteface and Gore Mountains and create state-of-the art skiing, lodging, dining and retail opportunities and year-round activities. The project will be the first major upgrade at both Whiteface and Gore in 30 years and will develop opportunities to increase off-season revenue, while making these facilities more competitive with other resorts around the world.
The $20 million for the upgrades at Whiteface and Gore is in addition to the $12.5 million in the budget for capital improvements throughout the facilities operated by the Olympic Regional Development Authority. The State is also providing $5 million in operating support for ORDA.
$38 Million to Transform Plattsburgh International Airport into Economic Development Hub for the North Country
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $38 million for Plattsburgh International Airport through Round Two of the Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition to jumpstart the airport’s $43 million overhaul of the North Country aviation gateway. This project, which will take the currently underutilized former military facility and transform it into a state of the art transportation and economic development hub, will create 825 construction jobs.
New North Country and Adirondacks Welcome Centers
The FY 2018 State Budget invests in the new North Country Welcome Center, located in the Thousand Islands, and Adirondacks Welcome Center, located in Glens Falls, which will become vital components of New York's tourism industry which has an economic impact of more than $100 billion and supports more than 900,000 jobs. The Welcome Centers will serve as anchors for showcasing information on world-class destinations and historic sites in the North Country and continue to drive economic development in the region.
The facilities will each operate year-round and include regional historical information and interactive tourism kiosks, a children's playground, Electric Vehicle charging stations, a motorcycle shelter and more.
$125 Million for the Siting and Construction of the Norsk Manufacturing Center
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $125 million, announced last year, to leverage an expected $875 million in investments and spending by Norsk and create 400 jobs over the next ten years. Additionally, SUNY Poly will aid Norsk with the recruitment and training of members of the workforce who will staff the facility, leveraging the institution’s expertise in providing an unparalleled, extremely relevant, high-tech education to be able to meet production demands as Norsk’s U.S. headquarters ramps up. SUNY Poly will also assist Norsk in efforts to locate supply chain, downstream, and other supporting companies in the Plattsburgh region, benefitting numerous surrounding industries and jobs.
$5 Million for Clarkson-Trudeau Partnership
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $5 million to support the partnership between New York State, Clarkson University and the Trudeau Institute to form a world-class biotech enterprise and further establish the North Country Region as a premier center of biotechnology research and development.
$2 Million to build a State-of-the-Art Certified Test Kitchen and Food Science Lab at Oswegatchie Educational Center
The FY 2018 State Budget includes $2 million to build a state-of-the-art facility that will offer food safety, basic food preparation skills, and assist agriculture-related careers in food processing, as well as provide space for rent to producers to test new processed food products. Instruction will be made available to FFA students, agricultural educators, farm owners, veteran and non-veteran beginning farmers, and other members of the public. The center will be expected to maintain a certified kitchen manager on staff to operate the facility and provide classroom instruction.
$100 Million for Round II of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, Including $10 Million for One North Country 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.
$75 Million to Strengthen Roads and Bridges in the North Country
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 the North Country’s transportation infrastructure:
- $47.1 million in funding CHIPS, PAVE NY, and Extreme Winter Recovery programs
- $11.7 million to construct a new truck inspection facility on Interstate 87 near the Canadian Border, Town of Champlain in Clinton County
- $10 million for roadway reconstruction and culverts replacement in the vicinity of Route 190 over Ferrel Brook, towns of Altona and Beekmantown in Clinton County
- $8.7 to replace the bridge that carries US Route 11 over CSX Railroad, Town of Dekalb in St. Lawrence County
- $7.2 million to restore the roadway surface Interstate 81 from the Town of Orleans northern town line to the Canadian Border, towns of Alexandria and Orleans in Jefferson County
- $6.1 million to restore the roadway surface on State Route 28 from Blue Mountain Lake to Indian Lake, Town of Indian Lake, Hamilton County
- $4.4 million to extend Western Boulevard from the Arsenal Street bridge to Gaffney Drive, City of Watertown
- $2.2 million to increase the vertical clearance on the bridge that carries the Delaware and Hudson Railroad over Interstate 87 in the Town of Plattsburgh, Clinton County
- $1.7 million to replace the superstructure on the bridges that carry County Road 25 and Lane Street over Salmon River, Village and Town of Malone in Franklin County
- $1.5 million to replace the bridge carrying Jerden Falls Road over West Branch of the Oswegatchie River, Town of Croghan in Lewis County
- $1.4 million to replace the bridge carrying Coveytown Road over Trout River in the Town of Constable, Franklin County
Protecting and Promoting the Environment
$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.
$3.5 Million for State Parks in the North Country
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. Based on preliminary plans for FY 2018, North Country State Parks and Historic Sites are expected to receive $3.5 million in New York Works funding.
$2.5 Million in Park Improvement Projects at Southwick Beach State Park
The improvements include a beach bathhouse at Southwick Beach State Park that features a game room , laundry room, concession stand, lifeguard room all powered by a solar array and fully ADA compliant. Additionally, the existing dunes will be expanded to limit the movement of sand into the parking area, beach access improvements will be made and the parking area will be upgraded to limit storm water run-off to better protect wetlands.
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.
Farmland Protection: The EPF includes $20 million for farmland protection including $1 million specifically for the Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program around Fort Drum to protect open space and wildlife habitat surrounding the base.
- Zoos, Botanical Gardens, and Aquaria: The 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 North Country zoos, botanical gardens, and aquariums received more than $178,000 in grants from this program:
- Adirondack Wildlife Inc.
- Paul Smiths College
- Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks
- Thompson Park Conservancy
- Friends of Minna Anthony Nature Center
- 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 North Country institutions and localities received more than $1.4 million in grants from this program:
- Friends of Eagle Island, Inc.
- The Fort Ticonderoga Association
- Adirondack Architectural Heritage
- Thousand Islands Land Trust
- Town of Wilna
Investing in Healthcare and Wellness
$7 Million to Combat the Heroin and Opioid Crisis in the North Country
The FY 2018 State Budget invests $7 million to combat the heroin and opioid crisis in North Country communities by supporting prevention, treatment and recovery programs targeted toward chemical dependency, residential service opportunities, and public awareness and education activities. This funding supports: 16 residential treatment beds, 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 $54.9 Million to Transform and Enhance Health Care Delivery at North Country Health Systems
The FY 2018 State Budget includes re-appropriations of $54.9 million to dramatically transform and enhance the delivery of health care in the North Country, 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 $54.9 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 $8 Million for Salary Increases for 5,000 Direct Care Workers in the North Country
The FY 2018 State Budget adds new State funding that will leverage $8 million for annual funding for salary increases for direct care staff and direct support professionals in the North Country. The funding increase will support 5,000 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 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.
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