This week, Gov. Kathy Hochul kicked off the state budget negotiation process by unveiling her $216 billion proposal. With the state working with a budget surplus, Peter Warren of the Empire Center for Public Policy said the state has a “unique moment” to stop the tide of out-migration from the Empire State.

In the last fiscal year, New York adopted higher tax rates on the highest earning New Yorkers to cope with a multi-billion dollar budget gap caused, in part, by the COVID-19 pandemic. Warren argues that this high tax rate is continuing the trend of outmigration from the last decade and may keep high earners from relocating to New York.

Warren told Capital Tonight that the governor needs to do more to become more business friendly and attract more jobs. According to numbers from the budget presentation, New York has recovered 62.6% of the jobs lost from the beginning of the pandemic. Warren added that the governor needs to decide whether she wants to “double down on more spending or go in another direction.”

The Legislature is beginning its budget hearing process with a final budget due by April 1.