LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Another Stimulus is on the Agenda for Congress

Philip Weiden | June 2020

Additional stimulus plans are being debated in Congress. Both the House and Senate are staking out where they will be on the next set of issues. Some states want more aid and others do not want to approve any aid if it goes to state and local governments. Governor Cuomo states that New York will need $60 billion. Whether New York actually needs that exact amount may be unknowable. What everyone agrees on is that the number will be significant.

It is clear that assistance to states must be forthcoming. This is like a natural disaster where all hands must be on deck. If we do not have aid to states, real estate transactions will be hurt as local governments and county clerk offices may stop functioning. Affordable housing programs will dry up, which will mean the continued exodus out of New York City because of the pandemic.

We also must get rid of the SALT cap as part of income tax policy. It cannot be stressed enough how much damage this is doing to the State of New York. It caused billions of dollars in deficits even before this pandemic hit New York. Even if SALT were eliminated as a temporary measure, it would help enormously and provide direct tax relief to middle class home owners in New York.

Finally, the pay check protection program (PPP) should get additional funding. It has been successful especially for small businesses that do not have a lot of cash on hand. Extending it is not only fair but necessary while supply chains are being interrupted. Stay tuned for updates on the next stimulus package.

Philip Weiden
Legislative Affairs columnist Philip Weiden is the Government Affairs Director for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors.