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Expert panel: State faces long-term budget problems

Dec 19, 2012 6:30 am
Thomas Kaplan is reporting in The New York Times, according to a newly released report from a panel of fiscal experts, New York state faces long-term budget problems, compounded by the teetering finances of local governments, an aging infrastructure and the possibility of severe funding cuts at the federal level. The nonpartisan State Budget Crisis Task Force said in a report released Tues., Dec. 18, New York’s problems had been “papered over with gimmicks” for decades, and while Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had taken some steps to rein in spending, the state was still saddled with burdens that will leave it unable to make ends meet in the long run. The report offered a sobering assessment of the state’s finances, raising concerns about its outsize spending on health care and education, its vulnerability to the ups and downs of Wall Street, and the struggles of its local governments to pay retirement obligations. Over the past decade, the report said, New York postponed a reckoning by using one-time measures to produce $25 billion in revenue. Former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch, co-chair of the group, said the math spoke for itself. “There are expenditures that are growing at a rate faster than revenues,” Ravitch said. “As long as that happens, then we are on an unsustainable course.” Read the full story in The New York Times.
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