Bill de Blasio is the mayor of New York City, so it goes without saying that his position will generally be one in the best interest of the constituents who vote for him. That’s the main reason why he’s argued his city, the Big Apple, should get more money from the state than what is currently outlined in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent budget proposal.
Yet while de Blasio’s reasoning may be logical, it doesn’t mean lawmakers from around the state will sit idly by to watch the potential detrimental effects it could have on their municipalities.
According to the Albany Business Review, upstate lawmaker and Finance Committee Chair Sen. Cathy Young, a Republican from Olean, was one of the many that grilled the New York City mayor on why he believes his city should get more money from the state at a recent budget meeting. Unfortunately for de Blasio, this had nothing to do with the cooking devices 80% of all households own, either.
“What you’re saying is that you’re demanding more money from state taxpayers,” Young questioned. “Some of the poorest counties are subsidizing people on Medicaid in New York City. We have very poor counties upstate. That’s just wrong.”
The budget Cuomo has proposed does stay within his own self-imposed 2% growth limit mandate, but it does place about an extra $800 million in costs onto New York City to help fund Medicaid and the CUNY system.
“We will work energetically to make sure that these cuts do not remain in the final budget,” de Blasio said at the budget hearing.
At the heart of the issue is the fact that lawmakers from upstate and other areas outside of New York City are upset with the fact that the city is exempt from the property tax cap that’s imposed on the rest of the state’s cities, towns, and villages. Essentially that means New York City can and does collect billions of dollars in property taxes to support their own coffers, while the rest of the state is stuck only being allowed to collect a “capped” amount.
These lawmakers, and the constituents they serve, typically view the big city as a money-making machine that shouldn’t need the smaller, generally less wealthy areas of the state picking up part of the city’s Medicaid tab, especially with the extra money they already get from property taxes.
De Blasio conceded that he understands the arguments but disagrees with the result.
“Our ability to succeed affects everyone else,” said de Blasio. “And everyone else’s reality affects us.”