New York’s adopted budget adopts a number of questionable practices, the independent watchdog Citizens Budget Commission said.
“State leaders passed responsible budgets in the last two years, dramatically improving New York’s fiscal outlook,” wrote Elizabeth Lynam and Tammy Gamerman. “In contrast, the adopted budget this year, while on time, reverted to some of the unfortunate practices of the not-too-distant past.”
The authors criticize planned tax increases, non-recurring resources, and possibly overly-optimistic revenue forecasts in the four year financial plan. Lynam and Gamerman made the statements in in their blog, “The Back-loaded Impact of New York’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget,” on the Citizens Budget Commission web site.
The governor’s original proposal had set aside $750 million for pay-as-you-go capital spending and debt reduction. By contrast, the enacted budget authorizes $250 million for debt reduction or “fiscal uncertainties,” they wrote.
In January New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said that the state’s high debt burden “could jeopardize critical infrastructure projects and other capital needs.” New York’s outstanding state-funded debt is $3,253 per resident, almost three times the 50 state median, he reported.