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How New York’s 2020 budget impacts Brooklynites

Deal reached: Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces an agreement on the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget during a news conference in the Red Room at the State Capitol.
Brooklyn Paper
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New York’s 2020 budget is in the bag!

Lawmakers approved a $175 billion budget on Sunday that reforms the state’s cash-bail system, taxes drivers to raise big bucks for the city’s decaying subway system, and earns New York second place in the race to outlaw single-use plastic bags.

The Empire state’s bag ban — which follows California’s plastic-bag prohibition as the second in the country — was among the big-ticket items included in the budget package, and allows cities to opt of an additional five-cent tax on paper bags.

City legislators approved a law introduced by Park Slope Councilman Brad Lander to charge shoppers a nickle for plastic bags in 2016 — a fee that businesses were entitled to keep, and would have amounted to a $100 million annual giveaway.

But the then Republican-ruled state Senate introduced a bill to kill the municipal fee in early 2017, and Cuomo — who described the law as “deeply flawed” and vowed to create a state-wide taskforce to address the scourge of plastic bags — signed it into law a day before the so-called “plastic-bag tax” was set to kick in.

The 2020 Budget also makes New York the first state to institute a congestion pricing program, which will tax drivers heading into Manhattan anywhere south of 60th Street beginning Dec. 31, 2020, and is expected to generate $1 billion annually to the MTA, which the agency could use to secure bonds for up to $15 billion, according to AM New York.

Congestion pricing is only one of three new revenue sources for the Transit Authority, which will net $365 million annually from a mansion tax on the sale of properties over $25 million, and $320 million per year through a new tax on purchases made online.

Legislators voted through a justice reform package that will eliminate cash bail for misdemeanor and non-violent crimes, ensuring 90-percent of defendants await trial outside of a jail cell.

The state’s reform package follows policies enacted by District Attorney Eric Gonzalez in 2017, which sees nearly all Brooklyn defendants facing misdemeanor charges be released without bail — with exceptions usually involving sex crimes and allegations of domestic violence — and has resulted in the number of monthly Kings County admissions to Rikers Island being reduced by 58 percent since the borough-wide policy took effect, according to spokesman Oren Yaniv.

The budget additionally makes a temporary 2 percent property tax cap enacted in 2012 permanent, enhances school funding by 3.8 percent, and state health funding 3.6 percent over last year.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 4:56 pm, April 1, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Brooklyn worker from Atlantic yards says:
Andrew gave himself a big fat raise. Meanwhile the MCI staff and CUNY, SUNY professional staff got screwed, again.
April 1, 9:46 pm
Old-timer from Brooklyn Heights says:
More taxes on the middle class and more "alleged" criminals on the streets rather than in jail where they belong. What a recipe for a disaster!
April 1, 11:01 pm
The Hunkster from Bed-Stuy says:
Sometimes, the state elected officials have to make very tough decisions by finding the lesser of many evils for the benefit of many of their own constituents.
April 2, 6:47 am
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Just moved out of New York City eight months ago after seven decades and the last of my family do so. Each family member that left all had the same sentiments about New York City. We wouldn't never, never move back. Now that I left I understand them completely. I now live in the state that has a larger population than New York state does. No city or state income tax. No parking meters, red light cameras, speeding cameras with predatory ticket agencies. 6% sales tax and free parking throughout. Real estate taxes at one third what they were in Brooklyn on the house which is almost 1,000 more square footage. One toll-road that charges a $1.25 to go anywhere in the state and no toll bridges. How does an attractive state with this population managed to do everything it does with so much less tax revenue.
April 2, 11:21 am
Gerard from Brooklyn says:
Bob from Gerritsen, you made the right move. Good luck and a long, healthy life. Now how about property tax relief for city residents. How convenient that the 2% property tax cap applies everywhere but in the city. Between the exorbitant property taxes, congestion tax, high water bills, red light and speed cameras, and a city income tax that you don’t find in other places, why are any of us here. I have a few more years until retirement and much sunnier days far from NY.
April 2, 12:08 pm
Lark from Fort Green says:
New York is increasingly becoming an eyesore of the "Have and Have nots.". The MTA system is abysmal! It should be privitized. MTA officials salaries should be regulated by commuters and not the Mayor's office. Congesting pricing should across the board and not only for those living below 60th street
April 2, 12:49 pm
LIFELONG BROOKLYNITE from BROOKLYN says:
Hi Bob from Gerritsen Beach, If you don't mind me asking, what State did you move to? Wishing you all the best in your new location.
April 3, 1:53 am
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Lifelong Brooklynite. I moved to central Florida about 30 miles north of Disney World really enjoy the three seasons. It's outside of the town called Leesburg and a 55+ gated community. The roads are great and the people are extremely friendly. Just a few bonuses. I went to the motor vehicle building, park for free about 20 feet from the entrance and walked out of the building 40 minutes later with a new drivers license along with my car registered in Florida a new title. Commented to my wife just like Brooklyn LOL. I bought a 15-year-old home for half of what I sold my house in Brooklyn for. It was in such great shape all l needed to do was hang pictures when we moved in. Went to City Hall to apply for homesteaders which reduce my real estate taxes by 20% and is now at $2000 a year. I could go on and on but I think you get the point by now. I suspect you're a lot like me that you put up with this ever increasing assaults on your quality of life and couldn't take it anymore. Good luck with your decision and my final word is after two weeks down here I asked myself why didn't we do this 10 years sooner.
April 3, 9:21 am
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Lifelong Brooklynite. I just wanted you to know so there's no confusion that I purchased a four bedroom two bath home with an extended attached two car garage. The 2,450 square footage doesn't include the garage or the lanai.
April 3, 9:29 am
Gary from Fort Greene says:
Nice move, Bob. But make sure you remember which politicians have been ruining NYC and don't vote for their counterparts in your new state's next election.
April 3, 2:41 pm
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Andy and his Lt. Gov. got a raise Surprise Surprise Surprise.
April 3, 3 pm
Gerard from Brooklyn says:
Bob from Gerritsen, I’m very jealous. Enjoy all that your new life had to offer. Palm trees, slower pace, better prices, less taxes, less traffic. Godspeed.
April 3, 3:33 pm
Florida Man says:
Have a pleasant stay in god’s waiting room. The wait should not be long at all.
April 3, 3:41 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Gary from Fort Greene Don't worry, you won't find any of those politicians in central and northern Florida. If you enjoyed Major Deblasio's politics moved down to Miami. Actually, I'm still looking for that easy living. Truth be told I'm more active now than in the last 10 years. Besides all the community events we have here which are too numerous to list we have numerous play houses and live entertainment within 15 miles of my community .(That's about 15 minutes driving time and all the free parking you want). I want to thank everybody for their good wishes :-)
April 3, 4:49 pm
David Weinkrantz from Downtown Brooklyn says:
To: Bob from Gerritsen Beach You state that you live in a "55+ gated community." I believe that means that no one older than 55 is permitted to live there. Is the community thereby outside of any school district? If so, do your residents not pay a tax to support public schools.
April 5, 12:57 pm

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