Earlier today, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli released his annual report on local governments, which finds that “Years of receding, stagnant and painfully slow economic growth have led local governments and school districts to cut vital services and tap their rainy day funds to balance budgets – a practice that is not sustainable in the long term.”
We have long advocated for governments – the state and local – to live within the means of the taxpayers who support it. The Comptroller calls it a “growing disparity between revenues and expenditures.” We call it governments that are increasingly unable to live within their means.
The state needs to help local governments to live within their means. The Comptroller is about to launch an early warning fiscal stress monitoring system, but the effort may be too little, too late.