Cuomo ‘confident’ Biden will deliver state & local aid

Cuomo ‘confident’ Biden will deliver state & local aid
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it would be a mistake to increase taxes to close the state’s budget gap before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. (Source: WWNY)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo says it would be a mistake to increase taxes to close the state’s budget gap before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Instead, he said the state will advance $1.5 billion to organizations that need cash before February or March, when he thinks federal help might be coming.

He said any tax increase would have to be done within a budget. To do a budget now, he said, would mean closing the state’s entire $15 billion shortfall.

“I think it’s smarter to do it in February when we have the federal money, so we don’t have to cut schools, hospitals, etcetera.”

He said, “a bridge between here and there is the state advancing $1.5 billion until we know what’s on the other side.”

He said he thinks it’s likely the new administration will be able to deliver an aid package that has money for state and local governments.

“I am confident with Joe Biden, we will,” he said.

But if that doesn’t happen, he said, “if we have to close that $15 billion on our own, it is going to be devastating.”

He said it would involve multiple tax increases and cuts to almost every service.

And with the pandemic and the effort to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine, “this is no time to cut essential services.”

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