NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Middle class tax cuts, property tax rebates, and plans to build three new casinos downstate are all part of Gov. Kathy Hochul's something-for-everyone budget, which makes history by projecting no budget gaps for the next five years.
As CBS2's Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday, barring an unforeseen crisis, the next governor, selected by voters in November, will have smooth fiscal sailing for their entire term.
Watch: Gov. Hochul Lays Out New York State Budget Proposal
What a difference a year makes. In 2021, during the depths of the pandemic, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo had to plug a $17 billion deficit.
Now, because of the thriving stock market, oodles of federal aid, and increased tax receipts, Hochul's $216 billion budget for fiscal 2023 is the envy of her predecessors. She calls it a new era for New York.
"We need to embrace this moment of possibility and use it to redefine New York's destiny," Hochul said.
And so, she is:
- Offering COVID-stressed health and mental hygiene workers a $3,000 bonuses to stay at their jobs
- Creating the state's first ever cemetery for military veterans
- Providing tuition assistance for 75,000 part-time students at SUNY and CUNY
- Creating a $1 billion fund to fix potholes all over the state -- called POP, "Pave our Potholes"
"This strategy takes us from potholes to not holes," Hochul said.
There are also plans to accept bids for three new casinos. New York City is in the running, with the potential to bring in $1.5 billion in revenue.
"The three will be probably focused in the downstate area, but there's no restriction. If we get a bid back that's dramatic, we're not going to exclude them," state Budget Director Robert Mujica said.
And then there are the tax cuts:
- $1.2 billion middle class tax cut for 6.1 million New Yorkers
- $1 billion in new property tax rebates for those earning less than $250,000 per year
- Nearly 500,000 city residents will get an average of $425
- More than 2 million who live outside the city will get an average of $970
- $100 million in tax credits for nearly 200,000 small businesses
- A special $350 million fund for pandemic relief for businesses
"Some of the travel, some of the Broadway music industry, they were starting to recover before Omicron, and then, as you have all seen, a lot of the performance venues had to shut down," Mujica said.
"And this really is the beginning of New York's next great comeback," Hochul added.
Not everyone was happy with the proposed budget. The Riders Alliance demanded $250 million to stop fare hikes and another $250 million for buses and subways to run every six minutes. Assemblyman Ron Kim complained there was no money for a nursing home victims' compensation fund.
The governor will have to negotiate the budget with the Legislature, which is sure to press its own priorities. A deal has to be struck by the start of the fiscal year on April 1.
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