As the Oswego County Legislature and other municipalities continue to grapple with the mounting costs to fund state-mandated programs, the state itself is grappling with high debt.
The county legislature has passed numerous resolutions asking the state to provide mandate relief. That would require the state to take back the costs passed down to local municipalities.
According to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, the state’s heavy debt burden could jeopardize critical infrastructure projects and other capital needs.
New York State has the second highest level of debt in the country and is approaching its legal borrowing limit, according to DiNapoli.
The state’s debt capacity is projected to dwindle to $509 million by the end of the next fiscal year.”
“New York’s past borrowing is limiting our future options,” DiNapoli said. “We spend billions each year to repay existing debt, so fewer resources are available for more pressing needs. This comes at a challenging time when our state needs to rebuild and repair critical infrastructure and has growing capital needs.”
DiNapoli said that taxpayers have little or no say in how much the state borrows, but they are the ones who have to foot the bill.
By Carol Thompson