Press Releases
Press Office
(518) 474-4015


March 10, 2010

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Statement on Ravitch
Five-Year State Financial Proposal

"Lt. Governor Ravitch is right to focus on the state’s fiscal mess. My office is examining his proposals now, but borrowing billions is part of the reason we’re in the current crisis.

"Borrowing to plug a deficit has serious consequences. For every dollar the state borrows, we end up paying two dollars back. And all those dollars we spend paying off debt are dollars that can’t be used to teach our children, keep us safe, provide health care or give taxpayers some relief.

"Our debt costs are already skyrocketing - debt service is one of the fastest growing categories of state spending. More debt would become part of the problem, not the solution.

"Yesterday, I introduced a series of proposals to reform the budget process, including banning backdoor borrowing by public authorities and restoring voter control over debt. New York has already squandered too many opportunities for real reform. The last thing New Yorkers need is a replay of last year’s buy-time budget. We need to get the budget in balance and keep it in balance."

Quick Facts on New York’s Debt

  • New York’s $3,089 in debt per person is more than three times the national average.
  • Over the past five years, State-Funded debt grew by 24.6 percent, increasing from $48.5 billion in SFY 2005-06 to $60.4 billion if SFY 2009-10.
  • Debt service is one of the fastest growing categories of state spending and will increase to $7.7 billion by SFY 2014-15, an increase of $1.9 billion, or 31.9 percent, compared to SFY 2009-10 spending.
  • Although the state enacted legislation in 2000 to end borrowing for inappropriate fiscal gimmicks and cap debt, $17 billion in State-funded debt has been authorized since 2000 that is excluded from the cap - $7.6 billion was issued for deficit financing or budget relief.
  • Backdoor borrowing by public authorities accounts for 94 percent of the state’s current debt burden compared to only 60 percent in 1985. Currently, New York owes $57 billion for debt issued on behalf of the state by public authorities.


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