New York Budget Issues

July 12, 2019

Last year, we discussed the creation of the state budget here in New York. This was useful because it highlighted the current issues facing our state. This year, the state government settled on a budget of roughly $175.5 billion. This year’s budget responded to a variety of causes and concerns. After its passage, the government continued to hash out a few critical issues affecting the State.

At MC&C, we see ourselves, not just as tax attorneys, but also as involved residents of New York State. We think it’s important to be aware of the many issues which are taking place. This is important not just in a civic sense, but also from a client service perspective. If we understand the issues facing New York State, we may be able to predict what will happen with NY tax law. And, in turn, this may give us a leg up in delivering counsel to our clients. 

In this post, we’ill discuss a few issues covered in the post-budget sessions of the New York government. We’ll discuss rent regulations (and tenant protections in general), legalization of marijuana, and single payer health care. The state government discussed other issues on top of these issues as well, but these were among the most impactful. Let’s see what the state government was fussing about. 

Rent Regulations 

The issue of rent regulations and tenant protections was prominent after the budget creation in Albany. Not surprisingly, this issue has strong support from progressive lawmakers. Due to the property tax cap renewal in the latest budget, lawmakers who supported rent regulations faced an uphill battle. However, lawmakers supporting such measures were fortunate that the GOP no longer controlled the legislature as in prior years. In previous years, the GOP controlled legislature put up significant road blocks to increased tenant protections. The real estate industry successfully lobbied the GOP legislature to ensure that legislation moved in an industry-friendly direction. This year, given the shift in political power, the outcome of the debate was less certain. Progressive lawmakers supported a range of pro-tenant legislation. Those included, not only rent regulations, but also issues like eviction conditions and capital improvements. 

Legalization of Marijuana 

Another big issue which came up during this year’s sessions was the legalization of recreational cannabis use. As we’ve mentioned in past posts, very often the policy of one state will quickly rub off on other states. This is just one reason why we need to pay attention to what’s happening in our neighboring states. This is certainly true in the case of the legalization of recreational marijuana. New York State lawmakers have noted that New Jersey has yet to legalize recreational marijuana; but, they’ve also noted that Massachusetts has already legalized it.

One reason for the increased importance is because legalization would most likely generate significant additional tax revenues. And these revenues could fund plenty of important state projects. Interestingly, the debate over legalization was seemingly devoid of any sort of ethical dimension. This distinguishes the current debate from the debates which occurred in previous eras. It seems that the national debate about marijuana legalization has shifted to an economic and social, rather than ethical, debate. 

Single Payer Health Care 

Another significant issue discussed in Albany was the single payer health care system in New York. This was easily among the most ambitious measures considered by the state government. The single payer system draws consistent support from Richard Gottfried, Chairman of the State Assembly Health Committee. This idea also had support from state senator Gustavo Rivera. However, the measure was not supported by Governor Cuomo. Nor was it backed by various key labor, business and insurance groups.  

This is not an exhaustive list of the key issues remaining after creation of the latest state budget. There were many topics which came up. A couple of other topics which came up, for instance, were ethics reforms and criminal justice reforms. Next year, we will go over in detail the development of the state budget, as we did last year. 

Contact MC&C Today for Assistance! 

At Mackay, Caswell & Callahan, P.C., we pride ourselves on delivering results and staying involved with the community. We work hard to master our areas of practice, and to stay up-to-date with current issues. That lets us focus on a range of areas. These include federal tax debt resolution, New York state tax debt resolution, 1031 exchanges, voluntary disclosures. The realm of tax law is constantly evolving. This is why you need a tax attorney that keeps up with all the changes. If you have a tax issue, reach out to us today. Give one of our top New York City tax attorneys a call. We’ll get back to you right away. 

Image credit: FHG Photo 

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