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Will taxes be a roadblock for Gov. Hochul’s budget as proposed?

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  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul’s $227 billion budget proposal is facing opposition from both progressive lawmakers and Republicans in the state Legislature. The budget, expected to pass by the end of March, includes a payroll tax increase for counties in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s service area and a link between the minimum wage and inflation. These measures have been criticized by Republicans as too harmful for businesses.

Progressives, on the other hand, are urging Hochul to increase personal income tax rates for the wealthy in order to fund schools, infrastructure, and health programs for lower-income New Yorkers. Assemblyman Ron Kim believes the added revenue is necessary to support those struggling in an already expensive state.

Hochul’s budget proposal also includes an increase in tuition at public colleges and universities, a move that has faced opposition from fellow Democrats. The governor has defended her plans, saying they are meant to provide safeguards against a potential economic downturn and inflation.

Despite the opposition, Democratic members of the Legislature have expressed a desire to work with Hochul on the budget. Republicans, however, are concerned about the potential impact of the proposed minimum wage hike and the possible depletion of rainy day funds if tax revenues decline.

As budget gaps are expected in the coming years, the debate over taxes and spending in New York is likely to become even more contentious.