The state’s top fiscal watchdog is in no hurry to cut services or raise taxes.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli acknowledged that some groups, including the Citizens Budget Commission, have urged the Cuomo administration to act sooner rather than later to address the current year $15 billion budget gap. But instead, he’s urging patience.
"Budget cuts and raising taxes right now would also be very painful," DiNapoli told Capital Tonight. "As long as there’s a glimmer of hope that we’ll be getting some more support, let’s wait and see what the final numbers are. We may still have to have budget cuts, or revenue raisers, or more borrowing. It still may come."
On Friday, Comptroller DiNapoli’s office released the sales tax figures for October. They were down from last year by 5.2%.
When asked if our local governments might have to raise property taxes in light of the revenue deficit, the comptroller said it wasn’t out of the question. But the best case scenario, DiNapoli said, would be for the federal government to "make them whole" from the spending incurred due to the pandemic.
"Our local governments are on the forefront of the pandemic response and they need financial aid from the federal government to help them get through this crisis," DiNapoli reiterated.