NY to boost school aid, offer tax relief in governor budget

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York would boost state school aid, provide sweeping property tax relief and deliver bonuses to health care workers over the next year if lawmakers pass a $216.3 billion budget outlined by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday.

Hochul is proposing a 3.1% spending increase in taxpayer dollars for her 2022 proposed budget, which would run from April through March 2023.

The Democratic governor says that the spending increase is just below the rate of inflation.

Top legislative leaders are expected to keep negotiating with Hochul to finalize the budget, which must be in place by April 1. The final budget often largely resembles a governor’s budget proposal, with some tweaks sought by lawmakers.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Gov. Hochul’s full budget presentation

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School spending would increase by $2.1 billion, a 7.1% increase. New York raised taxes on high earners and corporations last year with plans to use millions in new tax revenues to keep increasing the state’s share of school aid.

Her budget also includes $2.2 billion in property tax relief and $1.2 billion in bonuses for health care and front line workers.

She didn’t immediately provide specifics of how the state would guarantee such bonuses, and for how many workers.

Hochul wants the state to set aside more funding in case of future catastrophes. Some fiscal watchdogs are worried about the state’s reliance on one-time federal funding amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hochul said rainy day funds would make up 15% of the state’s budget under her plan.

The governor also proposes $2 billion in pandemic recovery spending, and subsidies to make 400,000 more families eligible for day care.

Her budget doesn’t include some spending increases sought by liberal advocacy groups, including a push to add $3 billion in aid for undocumented workers.

Congressman Lee Zeldin, who is running for the Republican nomination, released this statement:

"For New Yorkers, the hits keep on coming! Kathy Hochul is doubling down on the tax and spend, Albany-knows-best mindset that has failed New York for too long. Albany’s never-ending assault on the wallets of hardworking New Yorkers has been relentless and unsustainable. Hochul’s $216 billion budget demands New Yorkers dig deeper into their wallets. This is one of the primary reasons why New York leads the nation in population loss percentage and why every single day more and more New Yorkers hit their breaking point and flee the state for good."