New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said for the second time in three days on Thursday he would consider raising taxes to close an $8 billion budget shortfall if federal officials do not offer funding to replace revenue lost due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.
“This will be a hole in the financial plan so large that it will be impossible to fill,” the 62-year-old Democrat said during a conference call with reporters.
“What would we do to try to fill it? Taxes, cuts, borrowing, early retirements (of government workers). All of the above.”
His latest statement was an expansion of comments made Tuesday when Cuomo expressed the possibility of increasing taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers, according to TV outlet NY1.
“You’d need additional revenues,” Cuomo said. “You’d need cuts. And you’d need potential borrowing.”
The Tax Foundation already rates New York City as the worst in the nation for its combined state and local tax burden, with a 12.7% rate that equates on average to $2,877.
Cuomo, who early last month projected the state’s budget deficit to grow to a combined $30 billion over two years without federal assistance, has previously argued against calls from his even more liberal colleagues for hiking taxes, particularly on the wealthiest, arguing that it puts the city and state at a competitive disadvantage.
In early August, he personally appealed to wealthier residents to return to New York City, who he said have discovered while spending time at their second homes in Connecticut, Long Island or Hudson Valley that they weren’t paying the city’s wage surcharge.
“Come over, I’ll cook,” he said.
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