Here's The Bag Of Tricks New York Uses To Hide Its Crippling Deficit

thomas dinapoli

While New York ignored creative accounting that led to the financial crisis, the state was busy hiding its own debt.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report that suggests the deficit could be much higher than the reported $9 billion. At this point, no one knows:

“New York needs to stop playing games with the deficit,” DiNapoli said. “The state dips into dedicated funds here and shifts money over there, all to cover cash shortfalls and avoid making the difficult decisions needed to align spending with revenues. The end result is the state’s real fiscal condition is impossible to pin down. Every time the game is played, taxpayers lose.”

To lessen the general fund deficit, the state borrowed money from dedicated funds for highways, veterans, and everything else.

If something is broken or decrepit in New York, you can bet it’s funding has gone to the debt furnace.

How New York Hides Its Soaring Deficit >

Redirecting $34.3 billion from a fund designated for health care

Taking 65% of the Highway And Bridge Trust Fund and moving it into the general fund -- $22 billion

Sweeping $3.7 billion from other dedicated funds into the general fund

Magenta represents the Environmental Protection Fund.

Source: New York State Comptroller

$850 million sucked out of the Environmental Protection Fund

Next year's budget shifts $40 million in COSTS to the Environmental Fund (such as park operation)

Taking another $100 million in unspecified sweeps

Hiding around $1.5 billion each year in outstanding short-term loans

Adding to long-term borrowing that costs $1 billion yearly in interest

Funding Indian Gaming, while pretending it pays for itself

Creating special funds like Wine Industry Marketing & Promotion, and then sucking most back to the general fund

So how bad is the New York state deficit? No one knows.

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