Budget Reform

Reforming the The New York State Budget

  • We urge legislative enactment of the informal agreements among the Governor, Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker to require that the budget be “timely” and “balanced”, that “member items” be listed, and that the governor explain in layman’s language the budget’s impact on local government.
  • We favor a constitutional amendment that the comptroller’s revenue estimates be used as a basis for building the budget.
  • We support the use of conference committees to resolve differences arising from pending legislation and urge that the state’s rainy-day fund be increased to cushion future fiscal downturns.
  • We support the creation of an Independent Budget Office to make revenue projections.
  • We favor requiring the state to use generally accepted accounting practices.
  • We support designating July 1 as the beginning of the state’s fiscal year rather than the current April 1.

Reforming The New York City Budget

  • New York City must pass its FY’08 budget – the largest municipal budget in the US – by June 30, 2007. Currently the City has a large revenue stream coupled with billion dollar surpluses attributable to the Wall Street bull market and a real estate boom. Yet, there are projections of budget gaps in the out years.
  • Although the Mayor is calling for tax reductions of about $1 billion, we favor modest tax increases targeted to the wealthiest individuals and businesses. Alternative, progressive revenue sources will enable the city to expand its services to those most in need.