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DiNapoli: Financial challenges remain for state despite progress

by jmaloni

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Wed, Oct 16th 2013 07:00 am

State spending in 2013 was $6,801 per New Yorker

New York state spending declined for the second straight year in fiscal year 2012-13 while debt reached an all-time high of $63.5 billion, according to the annual report on the financial condition of New York state released by Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

"State policy decisions in the past three years have helped New York better align state spending with revenue, but difficulties remain," DiNapoli said. "The aim should be to build on the progress made and put New York state on a truly sustainable fiscal path. While short-term financial results appear positive, the fact that we are still dependent on temporary resources means the long-term outlook remains challenging."

DiNapoli's report found total state spending decreased 0.3 percent, or $407 million, from the prior year. Still, since 2009, state spending has grown 9.5 percent, outpacing inflation. State spending has been partially paid for through borrowing $17.8 billion since 2009, including $3.5 billion in 2013.

New York was the second most indebted state after California and ranked fifth among all states in debt per person. State funded debt outstanding equaled $3,246 per person, or 6.2 percent of personal income. State funded debt service totaled $7.1 billion in 2012-13 and is expected to grow to $8.6 billion by 2018.

The report found:

•Tax receipts totaled $66.3 billion in 2013, an 11.3 percent increase since 2009;

•Public health and education spending accounted for nearly 68 percent of total state spending;

•State, local and federal Medicaid costs rose to $51.2 billion in SFY 2012-13 from $44.3 billion four years ago; and

•Support for public elementary and secondary schools in 2010-11 totaling $57.5 billion came from state ($23.1 billion), local ($29.7 billion) and federal sources ($4.7 billion).

The report also noted:

•In 2011, 60 percent of college graduates in New York left school with debt, down from 62 percent in 2007;

•For the second consecutive year, the state's food stamp program, funded by the federal government, experienced slower growth in recipients and expenditures than during and immediately after the 2008-09 recession, with an average monthly increase of 74,976 to 3.1 million individuals in SFY 2012-13;

•In 2012, 60.1 percent of the state's highways were rated good to excellent, a 4.6 percent decline since 2008;

•New York farms generated $4.4 billion in cash receipts from the sale of commodities in 2011; and

•A total of 83,755 inmates were held in 136 state and local correctional facilities at the end of 2012 (including 59 state correctional facilities, 61 county jails and 16 New York City correctional facilities), a 9.8 percent decrease since 2003.

The annual report on the financial condition of New York state provides the public with an overview of the fiscal situation, as well as selected economic and demographic trends affecting the state. DiNapoli also released the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for SFY 2012-13, which contains the state's audited financial statements.

For a copy of the Financial Condition Report for SFY 2012-13, visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/finance/finreports/2013fcr.pdf.

For a copy of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for SFY 2012-13, visit: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/finance/finreports/2013cafr.pdf.

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