Tough decisions for state lawmakers in 2018
Dec 26, 2017 | 5931 views | 1 1 comments | 390 390 recommendations | email to a friend | print
New York State residents are still basking in the afterglow of holiday cheer, but there is a big lump of coal hiding in their stocking once the calendar turns to 2018.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has already been hinting in speeches that the state is facing a $4 billion shortfall in next year's budget to prepare residents.

There's a lot of reasons for the shortfall; taxes are not what they were projected, there is less money coming from the federal government, and let's not forget that the state commonly uses its shadowy “authorities” to balance its budget.

Look at what has happened to the mass transit system. Entities like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Port Authority actually generate revenue through tolls, fares and even advertising, and the state routinely siphons off that money by putting off things like necessary repairs, hoping the money will magically appear in the next fiscal year.

The summer of hell in the city's subway system was a direct result of that type of financial management.

Next year is an election year, which means lawmakers are going to loathe tough financial decisions that, while good for the state, are bad for re-election campaigns.

In other words, raising taxes. Given that the federal government has done away with the federal deductions for local and state taxes, in 2019 New Yorkers are in for a serious shock when they prepare their 2018 returns and see taxes rise with no relief via a deduction on their federal taxes.

Given the heat that the governor took over the past year for the sorry state of the city's subway system, it's unlikely (let's hope) the MTA will be a piggybank to balance the budget.

In addition to increased taxes there will also have to be deep spending cuts, meaning in addition to entitlement programs their probably won't be any extra money to expedite the necessary upgrades to the subway system.

It's going to be double-whammy of increased taxes and less services.

Happy New Year.
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February 14, 2018
And that could be one of the major issues for the 2018 state elections.