Cash report sends warnings

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s latest cash report should send warning flags to anyone concerned about runaway New York spending.

DiNapoli’s report, which comes at the halfway point of the state’s fiscal year, shows state tax collections to be $386.6 million less than the latest projections due to lagging personal income tax collections. Tax collections declined 2.1 percent — or $767.9 million — from the same time in 2016. The state’s General Fund balance through Sept. 30 was $6.5 billion, $21.8 million less than the latest Financial Plan projection and $3 billion lower than the fund balance in September 2016. Couple those numbers with this doozy: The state was already looking at a $4.1 billion gap between spending and projected revenues in 2018. That gap could get wider if tax collections don’t improve in the second half of the year.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s latest cash report should send warning flags to anyone concerned about runaway New York spending.

DiNapoli’s report, which comes at the halfway point of the state’s fiscal year, shows state tax collections to be $386.6 million less than the latest projections due to lagging personal income tax collections. Tax collections declined 2.1 percent — or $767.9 million — from the same time in 2016. The state’s General Fund balance through Sept. 30 was $6.5 billion, $21.8 million less than the latest Financial Plan projection and $3 billion lower than the fund balance in September 2016. Couple those numbers with this doozy: The state was already looking at a $4.1 billion gap between spending and projected revenues in 2018. That gap could get wider if tax collections don’t improve in the second half of the year.

New York is already a high-tax state, according to almost every reputable national ranking, including the Tax Foundation. If tax collections continue to lag, the state will have little choice next year but to either cut spending and anger those who have clamored for the costly programs the state has implemented over the past several years, or keep the programs and raise taxes, making the state even more unfriendly to business and the wealthy taxpayers New York desparately needs.

Either the state cuts spending or raises taxes; there is no third option. In our opinion, taxpayers can’t take another tax increase. State legislators, it’s time to buckle down and cut spending like many households across the state have had to do.

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