Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday announced regional investments in the fiscal year 2023 state budget to deliver for Western New York families. Her team said these regional investments build on her previous announcements, including the agreement to keep the Buffalo Bills in New York, the creation of over 350 jobs in Buffalo with the expansion of AML Roughtsource, the deployment of new SNUG Street Outreach employees in Buffalo, and the start of construction on a new $19 million affordable housing development on Buffalo's east side.
"Western New York is home to me. For too long, many parts of this region have been neglected, but that ends now with this historic budget," Hochul said. "With these significant investments, we can restoke the fire that makes Western New York so special and draw people here to share the experience with them. This region has so much to offer, and it's time we put in the work to make it shine brighter so that generations to come can have the opportunity to live their own New York dream."
Investments into Western New York in the FY 2023 state budget include:
Venues and Attractions
√ $8 million for Kleinhans for repairs and upgrades
√ $10 million toward a more than $23 Million expansion project for the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
√ $9 million for needed maintenance at the Buffalo Zoo
√ $20 million for expansion at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
√ $5 million toward creating a Hispanic Heritage Center in Buffalo
√ $9 million toward establishing the Niagara Falls Agritourism Sector
√ $25 million investment in the Niagara Falls Waterfront
√ $600 million Buffalo Bills Stadium in Orchard Park
Buffalo East Side Investments
Hochul’s team said the FY 2023 budget includes investments to right wrongs in places that have been previously neglected, including Buffalo's east side. Investments there include:
√ $37 million for Broadway Market
√ $30 million for the Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor
√ $6 million in support for MLK Park
√ $55 million for Northland Corridor Redevelopment Area phase three
√ $21 million for Northland Workforce Training Center
•CHIPS local highway aid program: The budget provides $57.1 million in funding for local roads and bridges in Western New York through the CHIPS program.
•PAVE NY local highway aid program: The budget provides $15.7 million in funding for local roads in Western New York through the PAVE NY program.
•Extreme winter recovery (EWR): The budget provides $11.1 million in funding for local roads and bridges in Western New York through the EWR program.
•State touring routes (STR): The budget provides $19.1 million in funding for local roads in Western New York through the program.
•“Pave our Potholes”: The budget provides $10.5 million in funding for local roads through the POP program.
•Road and bridge improvements: The budget includes funding for road and bridge projects in the Western New York region, such as:
√ $41.8 million to rehabilitate three bridges carrying Interstate 86 over Chautauqua Lake, in the Town of North Harmony, Chautauqua County.
√ $12.2 million for pavement renewal and general bridge repairs along Route 219, from one mile south of the Seneca Nation of Indians Territory to Interstate 86 and Route 954T from Interstate 86 to Route 417, in the Town of Carrollton, Cattaraugus County.
√ $5.9 million to reconstruct the intersection of U.S. Route 62 and Route 429 in the Town of Wheatfield.
•Transit operating assistance: The budget provides $68.2 million to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, a 15% increase over FY22.
•Non-MTA transit capital assistance: The budget provides a $35 million a year increase in non-MTA transit capital assistance, and includes $20 million for the third year of a $100 million five-year capital program to support transit agencies' transition to electric buses. A portion of each will benefit NFTA. The budget also includes $20 million for the fourth year of a $100 million five-year capital program to rehabilitate the NFTA's light rail system.
•Provide aid and incentives to municipalities: The budget provides $212.3 million in general purpose aid to the region's local governments.
•Consolidate local governments to create taxpayer savings: The budget provides over $615,000 in savings for WNY taxpayers residing in dissolved villages through the Citizen Empowerment Tax Credit (CETC) program.
•Reduce property taxes and lower cost of local government through shared services: The budget continues to provide nearly $200 million in state matching funds to support collaboration between local governments through the County Wide Shared Services Initiative. To date, projects in Western New York have been provided with more than $1.4 million in state matching funds.
•Maintain video Lottery terminal impact aid: The budget maintains $3.1 million in video Lottery terminal impact aid for municipalities in Western New York with facilities.
•Support Western New York schools: New York state “continues its strong commitment to education by providing additional funding to meet the needs of students, teachers and schools amid the ongoing challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.” The FY 2023 enacted budget increases school aid in Western New York by $169.2 million (6.8%), including a $122.3 million (7.3%) increase in foundation aid. This increase is largely driven by the second year of the three-year phase-in of full funding of the foundation aid formula.
• The FY 2023 state budget includes $600 million in capital funding to support construction of a new $1.4 billion stadium under a joint public-private agreement to ensure the Buffalo Bills remain in New York for the next 30 years. This largest construction project in Western New York history will create 10,000 union jobs, and the state's contribution will allegedly be more than paid for by gaming settlement revenues and income taxes generated by the Buffalo Bills enterprise.
•Invest in local health departments: The enacted budget includes approximately $1 million in funding to increase the General Public Health Work (Article 6) base grants for all full and partial-service counties in the Western New York region. The enacted budget also invests funding for all counties to cover a portion of fringe benefit costs for public health staff through state aid reimbursement, which will help counties increase their staffing levels to meet public health demands.
•Construct the Rashaun Nicole King Community Health and Education Center: The enacted budget provides for a new $2 million investment for the Roswell Park Cancer Institute to construct the Rashaun Nicole King Community Health and Education Center in Buffalo. The Rashaun Nicole King Community Health and Education Center will serve as a conduit for public health outreach and education in the Buffalo area.
•Roswell Park Cancer Institute lung cancer screening: The FY 2023 budget provides a one-time investment of $4 million to RPCI for the procurement of lung cancer screening mobile vans and associated medical technology. These mobile vans will be deployed racially diverse neighborhoods and communities for early detection of lung cancer. In addition, the FY 2023 budget invests $4 million in additional ongoing operational support for Roswell Park to expand and enhance cancer screening operations amongst diverse and underrepresented populations.
•Neighborhood and rural preservation program (NPP/RPP): The budget includes more than $2 million for the Neighborhood Preservation Program to support community-based not-for-profit groups that provide housing assistance, community renewal activities, and rental subsidies in Western New York.
•Rural Rental Assistance Program: The budget provides rental assistance through the Rural Rental Assistance Program for more than 900 units of low-income housing for rural tenants in the western region of the state.
Revenue Actions and STAR
•Provide a homeowner tax rebate credit: The budget creates a new property tax relief credit, the homeowner tax rebate credit, for eligible low- and middle-income households, as well as eligible senior households.
√ The average benefit for Western New York homeowners will be nearly $650, providing relief to an estimated 283,000 property tax-paying households.
•Accelerate the middle-class tax cut: The budget accelerates the phase-in of the middle-class tax cut by two years, fully implementing the cut beginning tax year 2023 instead of tax year 2025.
√ This is estimated to benefit approximately 350,000 Western New York taxpayers with an average tax cut of $116 in tax year 2023 and $59 in tax year 2024.
•Provide Earned Income Tax Credit and noncustodial parent EITC bonus payments: The budget provides a one-time supplemental payment equal to 25% of the EITC or noncustodial parent EITC claimed for tax year 2021, provided the benefit is at least $25.
√ This is estimated to provide over 68,000 Western New York taxpayers with an average benefit of $198.
•Provide an Empire State Child Credit bonus payment: The budget provides a one-time supplemental payment of between 25 and 100 percent of the ESCC claimed for tax year 2021, provided the benefit is at least $25.
√ This is estimated to provide over 96,000 Western New York taxpayers with an average benefit of $210.
Public Safety and General Government
•New SNUG Outreach Niagara Falls site – The budget provides $500,000 in funding to stand up a SNUG site in Niagara Falls to combat the rise of gun violence in the area.
•Family violence and women's rights – The enacted budget provides $150,000 to the family violence and women's rights clinic at SUNY Buffalo Law School.
Environment and Energy
The FY 2023 enacted budget includes additional funding for the following state park projects:
√ Buffalo Harbor Water Foundation Design – $15 million
√ Niagara Falls Crows Nest extension design (Maid of the Mist exit) – $600,000
√ Artpark shoreline trail connections – $3 million
The FY 2023 enacted budget includes additional funding for the following DEC projects:
√ Springville dam rehabilitation
√ Zoar Valley emergency access and accessibility trail