The grim news was laid out in a report released Friday afternoon by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget office: The pandemic has cost New York $63 billion in revenue through 2024 and the state will need federal assistance.
The mid-year state budget report estimated the state's main general fund saw a $14.9 billion decline and a 15.3% loss in tax receipts since the original budget estimate was released in February.
The state has reduced spending through September by $4.3 billion over the same period a year ago. That's been done through restricting hiring, new contracts, pay raises and what the Cuomo administration has said is a temporary holding back of payments by 20%.
Cuomo has warned the state will need federal aid or it will face a mix of spending reductions, tax increases on wealthier New Yorkers and more borrowing in order to close a budget gap next year. So far, another coronaviruse relief measure has stalled in Congress.
“While COVID-19 infections are spiking dangerously around the country and world, New York State – with New Yorkers leading the way – has been able to continue our re-opening and get New Yorkers back to work even as the pandemic has already done more damage to our economy than the Great Recession,” said Robert Mujica, the governor's top budget aide.
“The federal government must live up to promises that funding will be provided to states. The only alternatives to federal funding are spending reductions – a devastating impact on schools, hospitals, police and fire departments, along with other critical services --long-term debt and revenue raisers that may impact our competitiveness and weaken New York State’s ability to lead the national economic recovery as producer of 8% of national GDP. In the meantime, we’re not waiting idly by and have already reduced year-over-year spending by $4.3 billion so that the state maintains a balanced budget even if the federal government fails to act.”