New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has made some very controversial proposals that include increasing the MTA payroll levy and overriding local zoning laws, which has at least one Democrat comparing the moves to “extinction-level events” while others fear it will cost them their seats.
The governor’s MTA proposal would increase payroll taxes on city-area employers in order to raise $800 million annually. The higher taxes are intended to offset lower ridership and revenues since the pandemic.
The other proposal would allow a state panel to override local zoning decisions if local municipalities fail to meet the state’s housing goals. That also has Democrats very concerned.
Democratic state Sens. Kevin Thomas of Levittown and Monica Martinez of Brentwood are declaring that housing initiatives should be decided locally, not by the state government according to Fox News.
.@KathyHochul’s "pro-Long Island" plan includes RAISING taxes to pay for the bloated @MTA & allowing NYS to upend local zoning laws – even if the changes are opposed by residents.
This big gov’t, high tax agenda is the opposite of what Long Island needs. https://t.co/v3fZQZiiLV
— Anthony P. D'Esposito (@ANTHONYDESPO) February 24, 2023
Democratic Assemblymember Michaelle Solages of Elmont was blunt on the issue, “We need to make sure we’re not implementing policies that take control totally out of municipalities’ wheelhouse.”
Fred Thiele, a Democratic Assemblymember of Sag Habor addressed the possible fallout for Democrats in Long Island if Hochul gets her way, calling her proposals “extinction-level events” in comments to Newsday.
Hochul is evidently an equal-opportunity offender when it comes to both sides of the political aisle. And now, she’s acting as if the country isn’t already in a recession caused by the Biden administration’s deplorable fiscal policies. She just unveiled her $227 billion state budget proposal this month, warning of tougher economic times ahead as economics experts agree a recession is coming.
(Video Credit: WGRZ-TV)
There’s more in Hochul’s proposal that has people up in arms as well. Her spending plan includes a public university tuition hike, a 10% jump in school aid, and a proposal to revise yet again state bail laws, which is expected to be railed against by liberal state lawmakers.
The Democratic governor is contending that caring for illegal immigrants and the solvency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs subways and other public transit in the downstate region, are at the top of the list of pressing issues facing the state of New York.
“The New York City economy drives the state of New York, MTA helps drive the New York City economy. So, it’s critically important to all of us,” Hochul proclaimed during her budget presentation.
The spending plan includes a number of policies that were announced in January during Hochul’s State of the State address, including $1 billion to provide psychiatric beds and services for people with mental illnesses and a plan to help with the creation of 800,000 new homes, using zoning rules. Many in New York do not want hundreds of thousands of homes crammed into their neighborhoods.
(Video Credit: CBS New York)
Hochul’s housing proposal is getting pushback from neighbors in suburban areas of Queens, including Southeast Queens.
“We like the way the landscape is,” Michael Scotland told Spectrum News NY1. “The single-family homes. We like the land, we like the space. And we moved here just for that.”
“And we’re not really interested in increasing the density or changing the character of the neighborhood,” he stated. “What it will create is more properties at the same market rate. It doesn’t create affordable housing at all.”
Our New York Housing Compact sets an ambitious target of 800,000 new homes.
Today, I met with Westchester leaders to discuss how we can work together to make that goal a reality. pic.twitter.com/NjKyAslvYY
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) February 22, 2023
In New York, which is a deep blue state, Democrats make up the majority of the Assembly and Senate. They have until mid-March to counter Hochul’s budget proposal and it is very probable they will do just that.
The mayor’s favorability is slipping since she was elected and buyer’s remorse seems to be setting in.
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