State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli recently released a report analyzing the state’s Financial Plan, which shows the possibility of state budget shortfalls in upcoming state fiscal years due to spending increases, phased-in tax cuts and one-shot revenue sources in the current-year spending plan.

These are very real concerns. According to the report, the state may face budget gaps averaging just under $5 billion annually over the three fiscal years starting in state fiscal year 2017-18.

Comptroller DiNapoli said:

“New York is facing the prospect of out-year budget gaps.  New York’s rainy day reserves are at low levels compared to many states and the use of temporary resources to meet recurring expenses contributes to the state’s potential out-year budget shortfalls. More must be done to promote long-term structural balance and ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are used cost-effectively.”

The Division of Budget rejected the report’s findings, rebuked the report, saying that the Comptroller “is cherry picking data and ignoring key details in its reporting,” said DOB

This is a reminder that state lawmakers still have not addressed one of our state government’s biggest problems – getting our spending under control.  Our annual spending on the three largest  state government spending lines — health care, education, and pensions – continue to grow significantly each year.  The best way to be able to continue to be able to invest in these areas is to enact policies that promote and encourage private sector job growth, which will grow our tax base.