New York

Hochul, Adams lay out vision for NYC’s economic recovery

Appearing together on Wednesday, the mayor and governor unveiled a joint plan of action for the city’s economy and said it would take bold ideas to continue the city’s recovery.

The two leaders spoke about their shared vision at the Association for a Better New York breakfast on Wall Street.

The new 160-page report, compiled by city and state leaders, is titled “the New New York: To make New York work for everyone.”

what you need to know

  • The mayor and governor on Wednesday unveiled a joint plan of action for the city’s economy
  • It focuses heavily on improving Manhattan’s business climate by adding parks and pedestrian plazas
  • They recommend converting more commercial space into one of the city’s greatest needs: more housing
  • It is unclear where the revenue for the goals of the 160-page plan will come from

City and state leaders have emphasized that their visions align, which has often not been the case under former Governor Andrew Cuomo and former Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“The mayor and I talk all the time,” Hochul said. “Our teams talk all the time. We share ideas and that makes the difference. And you will feel that difference. And we don’t have to be on the news to have this kind of argument. We will be in the news if we let this happen.”

Last year, the mayor and governor urged companies to bring workers back into offices. This year it is recognized that there will be many workers who stay away.

That’s why they recommend converting more commercial space into one of the city’s greatest needs: more housing.

To make Manhattan more hospitable for businesses to thrive, the report also calls for more pedestrian plazas with fewer cars.

Deviating from the collaboration message, Adams also blasted the press, saying they were too focused on the bad news about the city.

“We have one face, New York,” said the mayor. “And that face isn’t always perfect. But we don’t have to look at the worst part of our day and keep emphasizing it to signal that this city is not a productivity city. New York isn’t coming back. New York is back.”

There was also a message to businesses and top earners: your input is welcome here.

The mayor lamented that some within the Democratic Party are sending the wrong message about those who pay the most taxes.

“Stop dividing our city,” Adams said. “Constantly attacking high earners where 51% of our taxes are paid by 2% of New Yorkers. It blows my mind when I hear people say, “What if they leave?” No, you leave. I want my high earners here in the city.”

For years, Albany lawmakers have struggled to strike the right balance of getting the wealthy to pay their fair share without evicting those on whom the state relies for its annual budget.

“The top 1% of earners pay about 40% of state operating funds,” says Andrew Rein of the Citizens Budget Commission. “We shouldn’t lose or evict high-income people because who’s paying for our schools, medicine, police, parks, whatever.”

Revenue is certainly an issue for all of these plans, especially as federal COVID-19 relief funds run dry. Last year, Democrats raised taxes on high earners. But Hochul has indicated that she has no intention of doing so again.

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