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NY budget likely spares public from most of Cuomo’s proposed tax increases

Budget negotiators in Albany have nixed most of the $1 billion in new taxes and fees proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as part of a plan to deal with the state's budget deficit.

Only Cuomo's proposal to impose a new tax on prescription opioids — raising $127 million a year — had gained approval among negotiators as the April 1 deadline approaches for a new budget, said two state Assembly officials briefed on the talks Wednesday.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details of the closed-door negotiations.

The new 2-cent per milligram tax on the active opioid ingredients in prescription drugs would be paid by drug manufacturers. The tax would help fund a $200 million effort by the state to battle the opioid drug epidemic through a new Opioid Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Fund.

When Cuomo unveiled his $168 billion budget blueprint in January, he proposed raising $1.035 billion through new taxes and fees to help offset an expected decline in federal aid and the loss of revenue under the new federal tax law. All told, state officials projected a budget deficit of $4.4 billion.

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