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New York considers marijuana legalization, sports betting as alternatives to tax hikes

How will New York navigate its growing budget crisis?

Governor Andrew Cuomo says that federal help would be the easiest way to fix the problem. He has repeatedly said that the federal government shares responsibility in the existing COVID-19 pandemic, due to a lack of appropriate response from President Donald Trump.

However, lawmakers in New York are looking at a variety of ways to bolster revenues and avoid a crushing loss of services.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The most-loudly discussed among progressive lawmakers is taxing the ultra-wealthy. Opponents say that will have a negative effect on New York State though. Alternatives to tax increases include legalization of mobile sports betting and retail marijuana sales.

The problem with the latter two options is that it will take years for revenues in those categories to reach critical mass. Sports betting in other states is set to surpass $4 billion. However, it’s expected that it would take a few years for New York to reach that level.

Marijuana legalization is another measure that some question how effective it would be at erasing the state’s budget woes. There are still questions over how communities affected by drug laws would benefit from the revenue created by legalizing cannabis.



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