Governor Kathy Hochul outlined her Fiscal Year 2024 Executive Budget. The governor’s team said the budget reflects her “bold agenda” to make New York more affordable, livable and safer.
To do so, she plans to make smart, responsible investments in:
- Mental health care
- Public safety
- Climate initiatives
- And more
The governor also proposed funneling revenues from three planned New York casinos to help fund the city’s subway system. Hochul said:
“I’m committed to doing everything in my power to make the Empire State a more affordable, more livable, safer place for all New Yorkers. We will make bold, transformative investments that lift up New Yorkers while maintaining solid fiscal footing in uncertain times.”
Gov. Hochul announces highlights of the executive budget
Gov. Kathy Hochul outlined her fiscal year 2024 Executive Budget on Wednesday, Feb. 1 as follows:
- $1 billion plan to fix state’s continuum of mental health care
- Governor ‘Follows through on pledge not to raise income taxes for FY 2024 budget’
- New York housing compact will build 800,000 new homes, address a statewide housing shortage
- $337 million investment aimed at reducing and preventing gun violence
- $1 billion health care investments for capital projects at hospitals and other facilities
- $1.3 billion economic development investments to create jobs of the future
- Fully phase in foundation aid, a $24 billion commitment to education. That includes $125 million for pre-K and $250 million for learning loss tutoring
All funds spending will be $227 billion, growing 2.4%. Deposits to reserves planned for FY 2024 and 2025 will be completed by the end of 2023. That would be two years ahead of schedule.
Hochul did not propose raising income taxes. However, she proposed increasing a tax hike on large corporations for another three years. The current hike was scheduled to expire at the end of 2023.
Ms. Hochul’s budget proposal officially started the annual negotiations between the Governor and lawmakers. They will discuss how to spend over $220 billion in state resources for the 2024 fiscal year, starting Apr. 1.
Directing New York casinos revenue to support public transportation
The Governor plans to help the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) cover its budget gap of nearly $3 billion by 2025. She suggested raising payroll taxes on downstate businesses that benefit from the transit network. That would generate more than $800 million in annual increased funding from the payroll mobility tax.
Hochul also proposed diverting revenues from three planned New York casinos to help the authority. She suggested that the city throws in nearly $500 million. It could all add up to $1.3 billion in additional yearly funding and help revitalize the subway system.
According to a Spectrum Gaming Market study, a share of $1.5 billion in licensing fees for up to 3 downstate casino licenses would go toward the budget. And between $462- $826 million in annual tax revenue will be directed to the MTA for operational purposes.
The timing and specific amounts would depend on the license award process but are not anticipated until 2026.
Budget includes funding to renovate Belmont Racetrack
The Executive Budget also provides a funding structure for the New York Racing Association (NYRA) to renovate Belmont Racetrack. The reconstruction will include the following:
- Winterizing the track
- Opening the infield
- Constructing a newly redesigned grandstand
The Executive Budget includes $455 million in capital to fund the renewal of Belmont Racetrack. The project will create new tracks, parking, and construction of a new clubhouse.
This project will facilitate the move of Aqueduct racing to Belmont, enabling New York state to repurpose the Aqueduct property. NYRA would repay the state for the project’s entire cost using funds dedicated to capital improvements.