Early this morning, legislative leaders and Governor Cuomo finalized a FY2020 budget for New York State that includes major agreements on congestion pricing, criminal justice reform, school aid, property taxes and a number of other policy recommendations.
The Governor’s summary of the budget can be read by clicking here.
Some of the issues the NYC Hospitality Alliance team has been working on in Albany throughout the budget process are listed below:
This FY2020 budget created a congestion pricing initiative designed to generate funding for the MTA and the New York City subway system. The initiative will impose a fee on vehicles entering Manhattan below 60thStreet, which could potentially generate cost increases for deliveries to restaurants located within the zone. Therefore, while we hope money raised from congestion pricing will fix our subway system so workers and customers can arrive for work and reservations on time, any new fees on delivery trucks will be another cost passed on to restaurants when they purchase goods. In addition, customers who drive into the congestion zone may spend less when dining out. Therefore, we intend to continue to share our concerns with policy makers and the Traffic Mobility Review Board, a six-member body that will be established by the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority to advise on tolls, exemptions, and credits. There will be public meetings on this issue, which is expected to be up and running by the end of 2020. So, stay tuned.
PLASTIC BAG BAN
New York State has banned single use plastic bags, a move that will be beneficial to our environment, but we are pleased to report that the NYC Hospitality Alliance helped ensure that the final language included an exemption for “plastic carryout bags provided by a restaurant, tavern or similar food service establishment.”
ISSUES STILL ON THE HORIZON
We wanted to bring you this initial recap as we review the final budget. We will bring you additional updates as necessary. There are still a number of major outstanding issues facing the NYS legislature over the final three months of the session that the NYC Hospitality Alliance is engaged in – from legalizing recreational marijuana to ongoing efforts to eliminate the tip credit – so, we and our Albany government affairs team will continue to make our industry’s voice heard on these and other issues that impact your businesses. Please be assured that we will keep you updated as the session progresses.