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NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
January 9, 2015 @ 12:00 am EST
Our speaker this morning was New York State Comptroller the Honorable Tom DiNapoli. He began by telling us that the state’s economy is not as robust as we would like it to be, but it has been improving. Unemployment is down to 4.6% on Long Island. (That’s good news, but during Q&A it was pointed out to him that much of those gains in employment went to lower paying jobs than those that were previously lost)
The state budget which has been late year after year has been on time in each of the last four years. (That is important because it avoids costly short term borrowing on the local level). Employment is up but not all sectors of the economy and regions of the state are enjoying the same level of growth. Upstate New York is a challenge to reinvigorate. On the other hand New York City is the state’s leader in job growth
Housing affordability is still not where it should be. The accepted percentage of income that is spent on housing is 25%. Housing costs are about 30% if you are fortunate, but more often it is 40% and even 50%
Infrastructure needs are not being met and that leads to other increased costs. According to the comptroller we are funding about 30% of our infrastructure needs.
DiNapoli discussed the idea of accountability in the local government budgets. He stated that the impression that school budgets are a special target is not quite accurate, but the truth is that they are very large budgets and there is a potential for improving allocations of resources is greater when you have a large budget. Some school budget audits were requested by an incoming board.
The Q&A was lively and we ran out of time before we ran out of questions.
Today’s sponsor was Gold Coast Bank- Thank You
Staff of LIMBA that helped today was Bill Miller, Marguerite Moore, and Ken Nevor.