Economic Recovery and Fiscal Responsibility

Today, Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch presented a 5-year fiscal plan for the State of New York. That plan calls for a series of actions that will enable the state to close a projected $9 billion budget deficit for the 2010-11 State Fiscal Year and lays the groundwork for an unprecedented four-year fiscal plan.“What we need from Albany is leadership that puts us on a track toward sound budgeting practices, economic recovery, and fiscal responsibility,” said Chemung County Executive Thomas J. Santulli, president of the New York State Association of Counties.The Ravitch Plan includes a proposal to borrow billions of dollars to help close the projected $9 budget deficit, to be accompanied by series of recommendations designed to limit and balance State spending this year and in the coming years.Counties administer and fund the bulk of the state’s health and human service programs and, because of that government service delivery relationship, are tethered to the State’s annual spending plan.Because of the structural relationship counties have with the State, NYSAC is calling for called for reforms that guarantee:· A ban on unfunded mandates or shifts in funding from the state to local governments and property taxpayers.· A seat or an advisory role on any State level fiscal control board· Fundamental reforms to the intergovernmental finance structure and public service delivery model that has resulted in New York having some of the highest property taxes in the nation.“Any long-term fiscal reforms coming out of this proposal should include accountability to New York’s property taxpayers who have had to fund decades of increased programs and services at the state level,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.

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