New York state budget (2009-2010)

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See also: Archived New York state budgets

Figures from the New York Division of the Budget showed a $3.2 billion deficit for FY 2010 and a $7 to $8 billion shortfall for FY 2011.[1] Governor David Paterson estimated a $9 billion shortfall.[2] Gov. Paterson advocated quick action from the New York State Legislature at a special session starting November 10 on his proposed two-year, $5 billion Deficit Reduction Plan (DRP), which purported to close the current-year gap and cut the combined projected $10 billion deficit in half. In total, year-to-date income tax collections for FY 2010 were $4.4 billion less, 22 percent less than FY 2009. The "surcharge on high-income individuals" passed during the regular legislative session to help bridge New York's original $1.7 billion budget gap did not produce the anticipated $4 billion, but instead produced 10 percent less at $3.6 billion.[3][4]

Gov. Paterson's Oct. 15, 2009 Deficit Reduction Plan FY 2010 % of Plan
Across-the-board Local Assistance Cuts $1.3 billion 44%
Across-the-board State Agency Cuts $500 million 17%
Tax Amnesty $250 million 8%
Battery Park City Authority Fund Transfer $300 million 10%
Aqueduct VLT Payment $200 million 7%
Medicaid Fraud $150 million 5%
Additional Admin. Savings $145 million 5%
RGGI ($90M)/EPF ($10M) Transfer $100 million 3%
DASNY Transfer $26 million 1%
Total $3.0 billion

Through the end of the fiscal year the Financial Plan projected more than $1.7 billion would be transferred to the General Fund from dedicated state funds. In addition, at least $1.4 billion in temporary loans remained outstanding. $3.1 billion in General Fund spending off-loads were shifted to the HCRA funds and nearly $200 million in new debt was issued to replace pay-as-you-go capital spending.[5]

Budget background

See also: New York state budget and finances

The initial phases in creating each state budget begin long before the fiscal year starts. Every summer, the Division of the Budget (DOB) sends a call letter to state agencies that sets out the governor’s priorities for the year, anticipated fiscal constraints and a schedule for submitting budget requests. The DOB is responsible for analyzing agencies' requests and aiding the governor in creating the final state budget.[6]

Agencies usually submit their budget requests to the DOB by early fall. The DOB and New York Comptroller must release a detailed estimate of anticipated income and expenses by November 5. The DOB evaluates the budget requests in light of trends in income and spending, assesses the state’s economic situation and presents their recommendations to the governor.[6]

By mid-January (or February 1st following a gubernatorial election year), the governor must submit his budget plan to the legislature along with related appropriation, revenue and budget bills. Along with the Executive Budget, the governor must submit the state’s Five-Year Financial Plan, Five-Year Capital Program and Financing Plan, and any financial information supporting the Executive Budget. The legislature then analyzes the governor’s proposals, holds public hearings and works with the DOB in evaluating the proposed budget measures. Both houses of the legislature must agree on the income and spending appropriations in the budget bill and submit the amended budget to the governor for his approval. The budget is then sent to the governor for approval, and a final state budget is created for the upcoming fiscal year.[7]

In approving the final state budget, the governor may use a line-item veto to cancel out specific provisions without having to veto the bill in its entirety.[7] The state legislature can override the governor's veto only by a two-thirds majority vote by the members of each house.

Accounting Principles

See also: New York government accounting principles

The Office of the State Comptroller audits state agencies, public authorities, and all local governments in New York, including New York City. The Comptroller's audit reports are published online and can be found The Comptroller's here. Thomas DiNapoli has been New York State Comptroller since February 2007. The State Comptroller is New York State's chief fiscal officer. The breadth and scope of its responsibilities are unique among the states.[8]

The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rates New York “tardy” in filing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) – the annual report of state and local governmental entities. IFTA rated 22 states timely, 22 states tardy, and six states as worst. IFTA does not consider New York's CAFRs, and those of the other states, to be accurate representations of the state’s financial condition because the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis does not include significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care.[9] New York's CAFRs are prepared and published online by the New York Office of the State Comptroller FY 2009's CAFR was completed and publicly posted timely.[10][11]

Credit Rating Fitch Moody's S&P
New York[12] AA- Aa3 AA

Budget transparency

See also: Evaluation of New York state website

New York government spending is partially transparent and currently has several transparency resources, which are listed below. The first two are government-sponsored, while the third is sponsored by the Empire Center.

Government tools

The following table is helpful in evaluating the level of transparency provided by a state spending and transparency database:

Criteria for evaluating spending databases
State Database Searchability Grants Contracts Line Item Expenditures Dept/Agency Budgets Public Employee Salary
Open Book New York Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
Project Sunlight Y
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Yes check.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png
600px-Red x.png

Limitations and Suggestions for Improvements

Public employee salaries should be placed online, as should specific spending details and line-item expenditures.

Independent transparency sites

The Empire Center for New York State Policy has created an independent transparency website, which can be found See Through New York here.

Public employee salary information

The Journal News' offers this database of public employee salaries in Yonkers. For the article introducing the project, click here.

The Times Herald-Record offers this analysis of public salaries in the Hudson Valley with a searchable database of payroll records.

A great resource is See Through NY, a new website offering "New Yorkers a clearer view of how their state and local tax dollars are spent."

Economic Stimulus Transparency

  • The state received approximately $2 billion from the federal government under H.R. 1586, a $26 billion plan to give states money for Medicaid and education that the president signed into law on August 10, 2010. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said New York was to get $2 billion in Medicaid funding from the federal government that was feared lost and over $600 million in new education aid to avoid teacher layoffs.[13]
  • New York established an economic recovery website to show how legislators and government officials in New York were spending federal funds, which can be found here (timed out).

Budget Figures

General Fund 2009-10[15]

Category FY2009 Amount in millions Actual FY 2010 Amount in millions Estimated
Beginning Balance 1,304 614
Revenues 29,060 27,338
Adjustments 562 0
Total Resources 30,926 27,952
Expenditures 30,312 27,442
Adjustments 0 10
Ending Balance 614 500
Budget Stabilization Fund 0 0

Fiscal 2010 Tax Collections Compared With Projections Used in Adopting Fiscal 2010 Budgets (Millions)[15]

Category Amount
Sales Tax Original Estimate 10,390
Sales Tax Current Estimate 10,005
Personal Income Tax Original Estimate 37,239
Personal Income Tax Current Estimate 34,380
Corporate Income Tax Estimate 5,495
Corporate Income Tax Estimate 5,688

Cuts made to FY2010 budget after passage (in millions)[15]

Category Amount
K-12 Education 40.0
Higher Education 160.0
Public Assistance 23.0
Medicaid 140.0
Corrections 70.0
Transportation 186.0
Other 464.0
Total 1,083.0

Changes Over 20 Years

In 20 years, the state budget grew from to $48.9 billion to a projected $136.5 billion.

The State University of New York grew by 14 percent over the last two decades, and the workforce of the state judiciary increased by 31.6 over that period.[16]

See also

External links