Updated: Jan 21, 2020
As an interdisciplinary urban planning firm that works across sectors, the Karp Strategies team is committed to keeping our fingers on the pulse of State and local policy. Last night, ABNY hosted Citizens Budget Commission’s Patrick Orecki who briefed attendees on the intricacies of the state budget for Fiscal Year 2020 - all $175 billion of it. Top of mind for the presenter and audience were the policy issues that typically accompany the State budget negotiations. This year, the off-budget measures included congestion pricing, permanent property tax cap (outside of NYC), criminal justice reform, and the plastic bag ban.
While many of the details of this budget’s most talked about measure, congestion pricing (also known as the Central Business District Tolling Program), aren’t finalized, here’s what we do know:
We know that it is expected to make $1 billion in annual revenue to support the MTA;
We know that 80% of revenues will go towards NYCT, 10% will go to LIRR, and a final 10% will go to Metro North; and
We know that certain exemptions are built into the measure, including one for if you make under $60,000 and live below 60th Street in Manhattan.
Two big ticket items that did not make it into this year’s budget were rent regulations and the legalization of recreational marijuana. Even before these key policy decisions are introduced to the budgeting conversation, the State budget has to outline baseline spending and revenue items. Education, followed by Medicaid remained the top budget allocations. For Fiscal Year 2020, New York State will spend approximately $22,000 per pupil, ranking as the highest education spending in the country with results and proficiency levels that vary vastly by region. Medicaid will receive $73 billion in State dollars for this fiscal year.
A conversation about the State budget for Fiscal Year 2020 would be incomplete without noting that:
The millionaire’s tax was extended for an additional five years;
Budget experts are concerned about a $24 billion gap in revenues of the next three years; and
The jury is still out on how the loss of SALT deductibility will impact the economic health of New York State.