I’m not one to pour over state budget outlooks simply because its boring and no one really cares.
However when I look at New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s spend thrift $216 billion budget for 2022-2023, I see huge problems for the city and state.
Hochul’s spending bender is relying on gambling and marijuana revenues to explode, while conceding that tourism and NYC business tax revenues will not recover for a number of years.
“While other sectors have improved markedly, the retail, wholesale, and leisure and hospitality and other services sectors lag the most in their recoveries and are not projected to recover before 2026,” the governor’s forecast said.
The fact that New York is betting on a future that relies on gambling and pot sales tells you all you need to know about the near future in New York.
The state plans to reap more than $1.25 billion in new revenue from legal marijuana sales during the next six years, according to Hochul’s budget director.
The fact that Albany has an Office of Cannabis Management tells you all you need to know about New York’s future. It’s not a budding industry we should be proud of.
The fact that Hochul’s budget does not see any real rebound in tourism or retail sales in the city until 2028 tells you that NYC is doomed. Abandoned Midtown Manhattan properties will probably remain that way unless they are replaced with pot retailers or online gambling parlors.
Given that scenario, how far are we from legalizing other sin taxes like prostitution and other drug sales to fund the state?
Hell, we already have city-sponsored heroin shooting galleries thanks to ex-Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The CoVid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed New York’s future as lock downs and soaring crime rates have closed Manhattan to many people.
So it appears through her budget that Gov. Hochul has accepted this reality and is embracing sin taxes in order to fund her left-leaning agenda.
Welcome to 2026.
Maybe the guy standing outside Penn Station for years with the sign saying “The End Is Near” wasn’t that far off.