7 Key Fiscal Policy Recommendations as the Budget Approaches

Plans to fix the MTA, invest in higher education, lower housing costs, reduce child poverty, and raise wages

By Nathan Gusdorf, Executive Director and Andrew Perry, Senior Policy Analyst

April 2023

With New York State’s fiscal year 2024 budget due April 1, 2024, the Governor and Legislature are nearing the end of negotiations on key policy priorities and the scale of new investments in public services. This brief provides an overview of FPI’s recommendations on major fiscal policy areas at issue in budget negotiations.

Summary of recommendations

Taxes: Raise the corporate tax in line with the Assembly budget proposal, and raise the personal income tax in line with both the Senate and Assembly budget proposals; adopt the Governor’s proposal to increase the Payroll Mobility Tax.

MTA budget gap: Fix the MTA operating deficit with recurring, sustainable revenue from a higher Payroll Mobility Tax rate and a higher corporate tax; increase state aid and use casino tax revenues to avoid a fare increase and improve service frequency.

Housing: Enact land use requirements that increase the supply of housing in the New York metropolitan area. Housing security policy should use effective policy tools, including rental assistance, rather than tax incentives and be funded at the state, not local, level.

Public higher education: Avoid tuition hikes at SUNY and CUNY; close operating deficits with recurring state aid.

Childcare and Child Poverty: Raise the income threshold for childcare subsidies and reform the state child tax credit to end the exclusion of young children.

Minimum wage: Phase in a higher base minimum wage, then index to inflation. The index should avoid limitations on future wage increases.

Unemployment insurance: Reject the use of state debt to prepay the unemployment insurance system’s federal debt.