Pressure on the cost of everyday purchases will likely continue upward amid geopolitical uncertainty and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday warned.
But Hochul, during an event in Newburgh, did not rule out efforts to further curtail inflationary costs such as a suspension of the gas tax in New York, while also pointing to measures in her $216 billion budget plan she said would put more money in peoples' pockets.
Inflation has sharply increased in the last year as supply chains have been stretched by the pandemic and demand for goods continuing unabated. Adding to those complications potentially is the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, which could lead to even further growth in energy costs.
"We can anticipate there is going to be more pressure on prices, upward unfortunately, as a result of this," Hochul said.
Inflationary costs are "eating up all those gains" in income for many people, she added.
"People are exhausted, they're tired," she said.
The governor did not close the door completely when asked if she would consider suspending the state sales tax on gasoline purchases. But she also noted her budget plan includes an acceleration of an income tax cut aimed at middle-income earners as well as a $2.1 billion proposal for property tax relief.
"We're speeding it up just to get more money in peoples' pockets during these difficult times," she said. "We're going to continue looking at other possibilities as well."