Comptroller

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says $5 billion in extra money that New York is reaping from bank settlements should not be viewed as a surplus, and should not be spent as though there will be more money coming in the future.

“I wouldn’t call it a surplus,” DiNapoli said. “It’s really more of a windfall.”

And so the comptroller says it should not be used for recurring expenses, like tax cuts or increased school aid, as some legislators have suggested.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The first experiment with the state’s new public campaign financing law went out with a whimper. The method of parlaying private dollars into a public match fell short in the race for the state comptroller.

In order to get $1.2 million in state funds for his campaign, Republican state comptroller candidate Bob Antonacci needed to get 2,000 people to donate between $10 and $175, and it had to amount to at least $200,000.

In the end, Antonacci fell about $50,000 short.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

An experimental public campaign finance system for the state comptroller’s race has fizzled, after the lone candidate who applied for the program failed to meet the minimum threshold to obtain public monies.

The pilot public campaign financing program was limited to just the state comptroller’s race as part of a state budget deal.

It was widely condemned at the time by reform groups as fatally flawed. Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group called it cynical.

Overall, sales tax revenue in New York increased for the first half of this year, but revenues were mixed across the state.

Across the board, New York saw sales tax revenue grow $177 million over the first half of this year, according to numbers tallied by the state comptroller's office. That's a 2.5 percent jump, but it's been an uneven increase, with some counties seeing big gains, while others decreased.

The volunteer fire department in Camillus spent more than it should have over a two year period, a state audit has found.

The all-volunteer department just west of Syracuse spent several thousand dollars more than was in its budget in 2012 and 2013, the state Comptroller's office found.

The leader of the state Senate Republicans offered some hope that New York’s public campaign finance system could be expanded before the session is over.  

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos says talks are ongoing about expanding public campaign finance to more statewide races in New York. Skelos, who’s said a plan pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo would be a waste of the taxpayers’ money, says he’s open to other means of funding, like a voluntary tax form check off.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

New York's top fiscal watchdog says he has been directly involved in fighting political corruption in the state. His opponent for state comptroller in November's election says otherwise.

Gov. Cuomo is facing pressure to revive an issue that failed in state budget negotiations -- enacting a public campaign financing system for statewide elections.

In the final budget deal, Cuomo agreed with legislative leaders to a pared-down public campaign finance system that would apply only to the state comptroller’s race, and sunset after this year.

The governor was immediately condemned by government reform groups who said the pilot program was cynically designed to fail. But Cuomo defended the deal, saying advocates were looking at the glass half empty.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Onondaga County’s top financial officer will challenge his state-wide counterpart in the November election. Bob Antonacci says he can use the comptroller post to turn around New York.

Antonacci, the Republican Onondaga County comptroller, is a lawyer and certified public accountant. He says his background on the county level has prepared him for Albany.

He was asked last week by state GOP officials to challenge Democrat Thomas DiNapoli.

How stressed out is the checkbook in your hometown or school district? The New York comptroller's office recently finished scoring nearly 2,300 governments and school districts and tabulated their fiscal stress levels.

There are 142 municipalities in some level of fiscal stress, according to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The comptroller says the percentage score, with 100 percent being as stressed out as a municipality can get, is an "early warning system."

The state’s comptroller says he won’t be participating in a new pilot public campaign finance program agreed to in the state budget, and government reform groups say they don’t blame him.

Saying he won’t be a “convenient sacrificial lamb,” state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he won’t opt in to a test system for public campaign finance that applies only to his office, and would use money from the comptroller’s unclaimed funds to pay for it.  

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The state’s top accountant says a test public campaign finance plan that would apply only to his office is seriously flawed, and might even be unworkable. 

The budget provision, which first surfaced late Friday, would enact a pilot public campaign finance program limited to the comptroller’s office.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, a long time supporter of public finance, says this plan comes too late in the election cycle, and relies on the State Board of Elections, a board widely viewed as incompetent, to set up the program.

A report by the state’s comptroller finds that the dysfunction in Washington may take a bite out of Wall Street profits for the remainder of this year.

The analysis by New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli finds the recent gridlock in Congress, higher interest rates, and the JP Morgan $13 billion settlement over bad mortgages is contributing to lower earnings and profits for New York’s financial industry.

The state comptroller says he’s looking for more start up companies and entrepreneurs to invest in, as part of a partnership between the state’s pension fund and private equity managers.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says he thinks he can work with Eliot Spitzer, should the former governor win the post of New York City comptroller, even though he is supporting his opponent in the contest.

DiNapoli says his endorsement of former Assemblyman and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer still stands.

“I can work with just about anybody,” DiNapoli said.

Though he qualified that assessment, saying he’ll have to see “how that plays out.”

A report from the state comptroller finds local governments in New York are struggling financially. Around 10 percent are running deficits or suffering from cash flow problems, and there is no end in sight.