NEW YORK—The state’s austere budgets and tax cuts are doing little to help New York City, and election year is only making things worse, said research organization Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI).
At a New York City preliminary budget briefing, FPI chief economist and Deputy Director James Parrott said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget and proposed tax cuts are “ill-conceived and unnecessary.”
Parrott said Cuomo is not only limiting spending, as the state has for the past six years, but effectively taking all the funds saved and giving them away in the form of tax cuts. Last year a multiyear tax rebate was approved, and $2.5 billion will be returned to households.
The state budget also proposes reducing the estate tax at the cost of $800 million annually, FPI points out, which would benefit 200 super-wealthy households and is at odds with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s progressive agenda.
According to Parrott, this affects the state’s ability to fund many programs, including universal prekindergarten. Cuomo’s statewide plan to fund pre-K would cost up to $500 million a year by the end of four years, and “It’s hard to imagine how [the state] would pay for that,” Parrott said.
The city may end up immune from this problem, as the state Senate and state Assembly have proposed resolutions expected to pass Wednesday that support de Blasio in raising personal income tax rates on the city’s wealthy residents to pay for universal pre-K programs for New York City 4-year-olds. If de Blasio gains permission to raise the city tax, he will not need to rely on funding from the state budget.