New York budget adds for-hire car fees to fund MTA

- New York State narrowly made the deadline to approve a spending plan. Lawmakers had until Sunday, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said late Friday that a $168 billion budget has passed. What made this budget most difficult is it started with a deficit of more than $4 billion, he said.

This is a brief overview of some of what is included:

  • New York City will pay half of $836 million for the MTA operating fund; a long-term revenue stream is still needed.
  • Congestion pricing will begin from 96th Street and south in Manhattan, charging for-hire vehicles $2.75 and taxi cabs $2.50.
  • $250 million will go toward NYCHA improvements.
  • A measure is included to fight sexual harassment for all employees of state and local governments.

"We put into place the strongest and most comprehensive anti-sexual harassment protections in the nation," Cuomo said, "ending once and for all the secrecy and coercive practices that have enabled this unacceptable behavior for far too long."

But one of the most important parts of the budget is defending against the federal tax increase by restructuring the state tax code.

"New York will also become the first state to implement new measures to shield families from the devastating federal tax law's elimination of full state and local deductibility — an economic arrow aimed at the heart of this state's economy," Cuomo said.

Cuomo said a gun safety bill for victims of domestic violence will be introduced but he is unsure of its fate.

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