New York State Is Set to Raise Taxes on Those Earning Over $1 Millionavril 5, 2021
Mr. Cuomo was in the awkward position of negotiating with Democratic leaders whose full support he has lost: Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the majority leader in the State Senate, has called on him to resign, while Carl E. Heastie, the speaker of the Assembly, has opened an impeachment investigation into the governor.
Democrats, who control the Legislature, entered this year’s negotiations emboldened by the governor’s loss of power, eager to leverage the worst political crisis of Mr. Cuomo’s decade-long tenure to pass a bevy of progressive priorities. Democrats also have veto-proof supermajorities in both houses, increasing their clout.
Nothing in Albany is ever final until the bills are printed, passed and signed, with last-minute lobbying efforts and political jockeying always threatening to create snags that could unravel, or stall, a deal. Still, Democratic lawmakers appeared on track to achieve many of their objectives.
The budget deal could pave the way for a casino in New York City, an idea long floated as a possible boon for the state’s tax revenues. Developers have salivated at the potential market in a city of nine million which once drew more than 50 million visitors a year. Language being circulated among lawmakers would allow the state to issue three full-scale casino licenses, almost certainly to be granted in the city and the suburbs, accelerating an expansion that had been scheduled to begin in 2023.
Other aspects of the budget, which was due on April 1, are still being negotiated, and could provide significant relief for New Yorkers still struggling from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, from assistance for small businesses to money for tenants late on rent and cash payments for undocumented immigrants who did not qualify for federal stimulus checks.
Indeed, this year’s budget negotiations — like last year’s — were overshadowed by the pandemic, with many lawmakers working from home and most of the deals being formulated via video meetings even as the state reckoned with financial challenges related to the pandemic.
Even so, there appeared to be an agreement to vastly increase education spending and implement a recovery grant program for small businesses that suffered losses during the pandemic. Much of the increase in spending would be paid for by increasing taxes on the rich.