‘It’s as serious as a heart attack…’
(Lionel Parrott, Liberty Headlines) New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blamed the state’s budget shortfall on a lack of tax revenue from wealthy citizens—and said President Donald Trump’s tax reform is responsible.
“At this point there is no doubt that the budget we put forward is not supported by the revenues,” said Cuomo at a press conference. “It’s as serious as a heart attack.”
The revenue projections appeared to be on track until December, when a “December surprise” and a similar drop in January created a shortfall of over $2.3 billion.
But Cuomo says his administration hasn’t done anything wrong, despite his extending a “millionaire’s tax” created to deal with the Great Recession, which has possibly led to even more New Yorkers deciding to leave for greener pastures.
According to Newsday, the governor suggested that by capping deductions for state and local taxes, the federal law was causing the wealthy to move out of state. With deductions removed, residents of high-tax states are feeling the full force of high-tax state policies.
The governor claimed, without evidence, that the wealthiest New Yorkers were leaving the state to avoid a big tax increase from the federal law. He pointed out that even a couple thousand high-earners leaving could have a big impact on revenues.
Newsday said the press conference serves as a notice for Democrats, who for the first time control both houses of the New York legislature and appear to have a number of new programs in mind, that they might have to abandon those plans.
“I think it’s still a little too early to determine what we can and can’t do,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx. “Is this just a blip? Is this just a delay? I think that once we find out what’s the real cause behind reductions in revenue then I think we can make a formative opinion on where we go from there.”