Comptroller says state probably can afford tax cuts, but just barely

Dec 20, 2013

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he’ll need to see more details and end of the calendar year state revenue figures before deciding whether the state can afford $2 billion in new tax cuts that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is likely to propose.

Governor Cuomo says he thinks if state spending is held to a 2 percent growth rate next year, there will be enough money in the state budget to finance $2 billion worth of property and business tax cuts.

Comptroller DiNapoli says he’s not so sure it will all add up.

“If tax relief a priority, if that’s what the governor and legislature come up with, and we don’t have the revenue, then that means you have to deal with the spending side,” DiNapoli said. 

The state begins the year with a $1.7 billion dollar deficit, but the comptroller says that’s based on an assumption that state spending would grow at a rate of closer to 4 percent.

DiNapoli says if the governor holds some spending flat, he may be able to pull it all off without any major spending cuts.