A pot of $350 billion in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 recovery package will be split evenly between cash-strapped state and local governments — meaning half will go to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the other half to Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipalities, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday.
Schumer, appearing in a zoom conference before the Association for a Better New York, said it was important that funding be distributed fairly to both state and local governments.
“I know when the state gets the money, the localities say the money doesn’t go to them,” Schumer said.
“There is going to be real money for our localities,” Schumer said. “Half will go to the states and half to New York City, the local governments, towns and villages.”
Schumer said he would have a say in the formula that determines how much each state gets and will use his clout to insure New York gets a more favorable allocation because it was disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.
He also said he will make sure New York hospitals get treated fairly in funding formulas.
Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office praised the 50-50 split.
“We’ve been advocating for a fair distribution and Majority Leader Schumer hears us on this,” said City Hall spokesman Bill Neidhart.
Cuomo is counting on Biden and Congress to deliver $15 billion to help him balance the state budget amid the pandemic that has ravaged New York’s economy and tax base.
Last year, Cuomo and Schumer feuded over Medicaid policy and funding. But that was when Schumer was the minority leader battling GOP rule. Now he’s the majority leader.
Elsewhere, Schumer said he would use his powerful new position as Democratic majority leader to repeal the restriction on writing off state and local taxes on federal tax returns. Former President Trump and the Republican-run Congress approved a tax reform law in 2017 that capped at $10,000 write-offs of state and local taxes — which hit wealthier residents in high-taxed, Democratic-run states like New York.
Schumer, who is up for re-election next year, said scrapping the SALT restrictions was “very important.”
“I am pushing very, very hard to get rid of it,” said Schumer, who complained the SALT cap penalized states that are “more generous” in providing government services.
He said the average SALT deduction in New York City is $23,431 for New York City filers, $26,259 in Nassau County and $20,020 in Suffolk County.