The Ongoing Challenge of Producing a $2 Billion Surplus: An Update

Jan 23, 2014
On January 21 Governor Andrew Cuomo presented a $142.1 billion fiscal year 2015 Executive Budget. One of its the most anticipated features – previewed at the State of the State address two weeks ago – was a projected $2 billion annual surplus beginning in fiscal year 2016-17. This surplus is achieved only if growth in state operating fund spending (total spending excluding capital funds and federal aid) is held at 2 percent or less.

The Challenge of Producing a $2 Billion Surplus

Jan 17, 2014
Governor Cuomo has stated the $2 billion in tax cuts he proposed in his State of the State address on January 8 can be paid for with surplus funds that will become available in fiscal year 2016-17 if State Operating Funds disbursements can be held to an annual growth rate of no more than 2 percent and receipts grow as projected. With school aid and Medicaid – the two largest items in the state budget – growing at annual rates at or above 4 percent under separate statutory caps, all other categories of spending, including agency operations, will face offsetting reductions to the plan if the net increase in overall state spending is to be kept to 2 percent.

The Back-loaded Impact of New York’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget

May 09, 2013

Over the weekend the State Division of the Budget released the financial plan report accompanying the enacted fiscal year 2014 budget. The financial plan includes details of the budget for the current fiscal year and its implications for the next three fiscal years through March 31, 2017. The report tells a troubling story.

A Disappointing Tax Deal

Mar 21, 2013
New York is on track to pass an on-time budget that appears to limit state-funded spending to 2% growth for the 3rd consecutive year. That is good news for New Yorkers. However, while the details are still emerging, one proposal is particularly disappointing.

Letters to the State Comptroller and NYSTRS on the Governor's "Fixed Rate" Pension Contribution Plan

Feb 25, 2013

I am writing to share the views of the Citizens Budget Commission on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to allow local governments to opt into a “fixed rate” contribution plan to fund their public employee pension obligations. We believe this proposal would endanger the future financial viability of the pension plans and recommend you reject it.

Letter to the Comptroller
Letter to NYSTRS

Improving New York's Fiscal Report Card Further

Jun 28, 2011

CBC President Carol Kellermann pens an op-ed congratulating the Governor and State Legislature on a productive session, but says more needs to be done on fiscal matters.

The Broken Umbrella: How to Make New York State's Rainy Day Fund More Useful

Jun 06, 2011

To help states cope with recessions one mechanism that is often suggested is a rainy day fund. Although New York has a rainy day fund (in fact, it has two), the funds have not been used in the latest recession. This report explores the reasons why New York has not developed an effective rainy day fund and presents four guidelines for how the State can create a more useful rainy day fund.

Bravo on Budget; Now to Lawmaking

Apr 03, 2011

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders deserve credit for agreeing on a budget that breaks some bad habits. It was on time, reins in spending that was growing at an unsustainable pace, and minimizes the facile devices that checkered past budgets—deficit borrowing, tax hikes, one shots and other gimmickry.

Filling in Cuomo's Budget Blanks

Feb 06, 2011

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive budget released last Tuesday was a welcome change. Breaking with past practice in Albany, he proposed closing the state's budget gap with $9 billion worth of serious belt-tightening.

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