WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - New Yorkers could see an increase in taxes in the next year and Governor Cuomo says you can blame the federal government.
“We need federal aid, period,” said Cuomo.
The pandemic has put New York state in a budget hole projected to be $60 billion over the next 4 years.
Even if Washington comes through though, Cuomo still says the state will likely see layoffs and a significant tax hike next year.
“You could see dramatic tax increases that would hurt families and hurt the economy,” he said.
How big of a tax hike, The governor did not say.
SUNY Potsdam business professor Greg Gardner says New York has one of the highest income tax rates in the country and raising taxes any more would make a bad situation worse.
“That is already making it really difficult to attract businesses and to retain high-income people and skilled workers in the community. It’s going to slow economic growth in the state,” he said.
Local officials, all Republicans, are adamant that a tax increase won’t work.
“You’re not going to be able tax your way out of the budget problem we have. We have an addiction to spending,” said
Assemblyman Mark Walczyk (R. - 116th District).
“Taxpayers are struggling like never before and raising their taxes would be the equivalent of kicking them when they’re down,” said Senator Patty Ritchie (R. - 48th District).
And Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R. - 117th District) says, “The last thing New Yorkers need is a tax hike. The governor needs to take some ownership regarding the current state of our economy.”
Gardner fears at this rate it could take decades for New York to get back on track.
“How long would it take us to pay back $60 billion? In addition to running the state, I would suggest if we were serious about it, that’s 20 to 30 years worth of debt payments,” he said.
Gardner says other options Cuomo has are cutting expenses and borrowing money.