Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget plan includes $1 billion in new taxes and fees. But that could change, with lawmakers and the governor agreeing there's as much as $750 million in additional money coming in from existing revenue streams.
"Whether we have more revenue or not, my Senate colleagues and I are not going to support additional taxes in the state of New York," said Sen. James Tedisco (R - Glenville).
The added revenue is based on the timing of tax payments to the state. Republicans hope some of the money could go toward paying down a $4.4 billion deficit and negate the need for tax hikes.
"We weren't planning on increases whether we have the revenue or not, and we should use this revenue to eliminate any taxes that the governor has presented to us," Tedisco said.
Democrats are eyeing extra spending for education, transit and resources for the developmentally disabled.
"It is a balancing act and there are some extraordinary needs," said Assemblywoman Pat Fahy (D - Albany). "Some days I feel like I have a parade outside my door with some very heartfelt and impassioned needs."
But budget analysts warn against increasing spending in the budget with the added revenue, saying it could make budget shortfalls in future years even bigger.
"If they use it to increase spending overall, it will increase deficits in the out years," said David Friedfel with the Citizens Budget Commission.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is equally cautious with the added revenue, saying he must still negotiate a budget with Cuomo and Senate Republicans.
"It's good news, but it still has to be worked on within the framework of a budget discussion," Heastie said.
Senate Republicans and the Democratic governor want to cap spending increases. That makes it harder for Assembly Democrats to push for more spending.
"You have to negotiate with the people you have to negotiate with. It's not just a pot of $750 million you can divide up," Heastie said.
Lawmakers expect to pass the budget by March 29, several days before the start of the new fiscal year.