New York Taxes Likely to Increase, Even If Congress Approves Federal Funding: Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that taxes in the state are likely to increase next year, triggered by a large budget gap due to the COVID-19 pandemic-related shutdowns.

The Democratic governor said during a press briefing the state is still counting on Washington and Congress to approve additional federal funding as part of a CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus relief bill, though even with these funds, tax increases will likely still be implemented, Cuomo said.

“I don’t want to give up on Washington, yet, because if you give up on Washington and assume there’s no aid from Washington, balancing the budget is going to be detrimental to every family in this state,” he said at the briefing while answering questions from reporters.

He added that if New York is given federal aid, the state will have to redo a budget and likely still raise taxes, but the question would then be how much and who will have their taxes increased.

“I believe we’re gonna have to raise taxes at the end of the day in any event, but the question is how much in taxes,” the governor said.

A bipartisan group of House members and senators recently unveiled a $908 billion relief package. It has the support of 25 Democrats and 25 Republicans. The package is not due to include state and local governments.

Cuomo added that the worst-case scenario is that if Congress does not provide any aid to the state, it will be “devastating” and “would hurt families and hurt the economy.”

“If we do not get federal funding, the consequences are going to be devastating to this state and the families and governments within the state,” he said, adding that thousands of job losses within the government are likely.

The governor used the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) as an example, saying if the government corporation doesn’t receive funding, they could lay off 7,000 MTA workers and “would have to raise bus and train fares and tolls.”

Cuomo did not specifically mention which taxes the state would look to increase, though he has said previously that tax hikes would be on the wealthy if the government fails to approve additional funding. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio also indicated that he would be more inclined to implement tax hikes on the wealthy.

“The question on tax increase is how much. A tax increase is not a political statement, it’s a policy statement and it’s a revenue decision,” Cuomo said. “How much do you want to raise taxes, how much do you need to raise taxes, how much do you need to close the budget? That then depends on the decisions in the rest of the budget.”

Spectrum News reported that the state is seeking $15 billion in aid from the federal government to make up for tax revenue that evaporated this year due to the mandated closures of businesses that were implemented to curb the spread of the CCP virus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

The three-term governor has to propose a budget as soon as January for the upcoming fiscal year.

Epoch Times reporter Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.