State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli answers a question posed at a breakfast event held Monday May 20 at the Queensbury Hotel in Glens Falls. Although expressing positivism that an economic rebound was underway, DiNapoli warned that New York State and its municipalities were likely to experience continued financial stresses. He also spoke of a new initiative to reinvest in local businesses — in order to spur job growth within the state.
Photo by Thom Randall.
continued However, things are looking up in Warren County, he said, noting that retail sales are up, resulting in a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for 2012.
Fiscal pressures on state, county and local governments are bound to continue, DiNapoli predicted, noting that federal aid has been cut while costs are increasing. “Financial stress is not a passing phase,” he remarked, adding how no real progress has been made on mandate relief. “Difficult choices on spending will continue.”
‘Fiscal Stress’ system ramping up
DiNapoli said his agency is launching a research and outreach program that analyzes municipalities’ financial data and identifies those at risk of bankruptcy or default.
This fiscal stress monitoring system, he said, would provide an early warning of substantial financial problems he said, noting the Comptroller’s office will be publishing the list.
“This is not meant to be finger-pointing, but to inform and engage the local taxpayers and citizens so they can provide more thoughtful input,” he said.
Pension cash to boost NY enterprises
DiNapoli noted that his office had established the In-state Private Equity Program to steer investment money from the state pension fund to help local businesses either start up or expand and prosper — or assist out of-state businesses in moving to New York State.
This program, he said, has already resulted in $641 million being invested to date in 246 companies across the state, including $22 million for Navilyst (recently acquired by Angio-Dynamics) in Glens Falls, he said.
“We’re trying to recycle state pension fund dollars right back into the state’s economy,” he said.
DiNapoli: ‘claim your cash’
Also, DiNapoli touted his agency’s program of publishing names of those due unclaimed funds held by the sate — a total of $12 billion belonging to individuals and businesses, culled from checks left uncashed from as long ago as 1940.