2021 NYS Budget Additional Information

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

In total, approximately $3 billion in combined federal and state dollars will be provided for rent and homeowner relief, including:

  • $2.3 billion in federal funding for Emergency Rental Assistance to aid eligible renters with rental arrears, utility and home energy costs or arrears, and future rent.
  • $100 million for a hardship fund for those who cannot access funds from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program;
  • $100 million to reduce homelessness; and
  • $575 million in federal homeowner relief, including a three year, $60 million commitment to fund the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP) to provide legal assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure.

Those tenants eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance under federal guidelines include individuals who have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 and have a household income below 80 percent of the area mean income (AMI). Both landlords and tenants would be eligible to apply, but tenants would be required to give consent before a payment could be issued on their behalf. Benefits would include up to 12 months of rental and utility arrears, with the potential for an additional three months of prospective rental assistance to ensure housing stability.

In order to receive the funding, landlords would be required to agree not to evict due to an expired lease or holdover tenancy for one year, to waive late fees for arrears covered by the program and not to raise rent for a year. Tenants would receive proof that rent was paid on their behalf or, in the event of an unresponsive landlord, that a reserve payment is being held for them. Tenants would be able to use proof of eligibility to protect themselves against legal action based on arrears that would have been covered by the program.

Real Property Tax Relief Credit

The state budget provides a personal income tax credit for New York resident homeowners with incomes up to $250,000 if their total property tax exceeds a fixed percentage of their income. This framework will target New York families with the highest property tax to income burden. The calculation of this credit is capped at $350 per STAR-eligible household, while also utilizing a $250 credit minimum to further target homeowners impacted the most by high property taxes. It is expected that claims will average about $340. Qualified homeowners will be able to claim this new Property Tax Relief credit for taxable years 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Personal Income Tax Surcharge

The state budget implements a new surcharge on high earners through Tax Year 2027. The personal income tax rate would increase to 9.65 percent from 8.82 percent for individuals making over $1 million and for joint filers making more than $2 million. two new personal income tax brackets would be temporarily created: 10.3 percent for income between $5 million and $25 million, and 10.9 percent for income over $25 million.

Corporate Franchise Tax Rates

The Enacted Budget implements a surcharge on corporate tax rate that increases the business income tax rate from 6.5% to 7.25% for three years through tax year 2023 for taxpayers with business income greater than $5 million. It also increases the capital base method of liability estimation to 0.1875% from the 0.025% rate in effect last year.   The capital base method increase continue to exempt qualified manufacturers, qualified emerging technology companies, and cooperative housing corporations. These changes raise $750 million in FY 2022 and $1 billion in FY 2023.

Affordable High-Speed Internet for Low-Income Households

The state budget requires the state Public Service Commission to map broadband access statewide and determine whether census blocks are served or underserved. The state budget also requires internet service providers to offer an affordable $15 per month high-speed internet plan to qualifying low-income households.

Environmental Bond Act

The enacted budget includes a measure that will put a $3 billion Environmental Bond Act on the ballot in the 2022 general election. If voters approve the ballot measure, it would fund environmental restoration projects including reducing flood risk for vulnerable communities, investing in more resilient infrastructure, and address impacts of climate change.

$29 Billion in Public and Private Green Economy Investments

New York’s Green Energy program could spur more than $29 billion in public and private investment across the state and create 12,400 megawatts of green energy. The investments include the largest offshore wind program in the nation, plans to make New York a global wind energy manufacturing powerhouse, constructing a green energy transmission superhighway, a public-private partnership to build nearly 100 renewable energy projects and supporting transit agencies’ transition to electric busses.