New York state and its local governments borrowed $1.4 billion this year – the largest amount ever — to pay for cover retirement contributions. According to data from the Comptroller’s office, that’s a 22% increase over last year.
It is simply poor fiscal policy to borrow to pay these costs. The borrowing programs enable the state ($937 million) and local governments ($472 million) to borrow and then pay it back over 12 years, plus interest.
Do you think it’s a good idea to put off paying for something that you can’t afford for the next twelve years? We don’t.
As we have said time after time after time, our elected leaders in Albany can no longer ignore the fact that laws they have passed are now killing local governments and taxpayers. They refuse to admit that they would prefer to take OUR MONEY instead of dealing with powerful labor interests.
New York can pass as many gimmicky tax freezes as they’d like. They can continue to cut $350 rebate checks that will arrive right before the elections every fall. You can call for the consolidation of governments and promote shared services. But none of it will matter if we don’t address the core cost drivers of local governments. Those are called Unfunded Mandates and they are the anchor that weighs down our future.