New York’s still-incomplete budget continues to delay the sale of personal income tax bonds and, according to a report released Thursday, contains assumptions for $4.8 billion of revenue and savings estimates that may be overly optimistic.
The state passed its spending budget in piecemeal fashion in the three months following the April 1 start of the fiscal year, but its revenue budget remains in limbo.
Without an enacted budget, the state delayed a $1.2 billion PIT bond deal through the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York that was originally expected to price in May. Required bond disclosure couldn’t be updated until the budget was passed.
The state’s bond calendar now schedules a $550 million PIT deal to be sold by the New York State Thruway Authority next month and shows the DASNY deal set for September. Those dates are not firm.
“The lack of an enacted revenue bill creates uncertainty as to the completion of the budget,” said Division of Budget spokesman Erik Kriss in an e-mail. “We hope to finalize disclosure in the near future — ideally after a revenue bill is enacted — and will be back in the market selling bonds sometime soon thereafter.”
The state bumped the Thruway deal ahead of DASNY’s because it will fund higher-priority projects, Kriss said.
The Assembly passed a revenue bill before adjourning July 1. The Senate did not pass a bill and has not announced plans to reconvene. Earlier this week, the Assembly rejected on constitutional grounds a revised revenue bill submitted by Gov. David Paterson.
The state’s $136.5 billion enacted spending budget — a figure that includes $2.1 billion of delayed spending from the prior fiscal year — contains $4.8 billion of actions identified by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli as “risky.”
In a report, DiNapoli said that revenue and savings from those measures would likely come in lower than projected. Some of the larger risks include the assumption the state will receive a $1.1 billion increase in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage program funds that Congress has not enacted, a $300 million franchise fee from the firm to be chosen to develop a racino at Aqueduct Racetrack, and $500 million of savings from workforce reductions.
The state’s “budget balance is still tenuous,” DiNapoli said in a press release.
Even without those risks, the Assembly’s revenue bill, combined with the enacted spending budget closed only $8.7 billion of the state’s projected $9.2 billion deficit, the report said.