N.Y. LEGISLATURE PASSES $51.9 BILLION BUDGET
| ALBANY, N.Y.
After the longest delay in state history, the Legislature worked into the early morning hours June 4 to pass a $51.9 billion state budget that raises taxes more than $1 billion for the third year in a row. The 1991-92 spending plan was 65 days past the legal deadline.
Gov. Mario Cuomo said while he was glad to finally see an agreement after over nine weeks of legislative bickering, he was not pleased with the additional spending items lawmakers inserted into the budget he proposed Jan. 29.
While passing the bulk of the budget bills last week, lawmakers voted June 3 and 4 on the aid to local governments and revenue portions of the budget, the sections that dole out state aid and raise taxes.
The tax package includes an increase in the rate on the state's petroleum business tax and the extension of that tax to include natural gas.
Prices at the pump were expected to jump about 5 cents as a result. A 15 percent increase in motor-vehicle registration fees was also included in the package and a personal income tax cut worth $400 million scheduled for this year will be canceled.
Also, traffic fines will increase as will corporate filing fees, and delivery charges on packages shipped from out-of-state will be subject to a tax.
Tuition in the State University system will go up by $500 a year while tuition at the City University of New York would go up $300 a year.
The $891 million that Cuomo wanted to cut from the $8 billion school-aid package, was reduced to $398 million, with 85 percent of the $493 million in restorations aimed at school districts in the New York City-Long Island region.
Lawmakers also cut state agency budgets an additional 2 percent above the 10 percent cut that Cuomo sought, a move the governor said will cost an additional 6,000 state jobs.