Februay 11, 2009

Silver And Farrell Release Bleak Assembly Revenue And Economic Forecast;
Note Worsening Conditions And Volatility Of Global Economy

-- Assembly Anticipates $1 Billion Less Than Executive in 2009-10 Revenues --

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman D. Farrell, Jr., today released the Assembly Majority's annual Revenue and Economic Report for New York State. The documents' release is a key step in the Assembly's analysis of the state's fiscal standing and in the process of working with the Governor and the Senate to craft a timely and responsible budget.

The revenue report All Funds forecast for 2009-2010 is $1 billion less than the Executive, reflecting a more pessimistic view of overall conditions in both the state and national economies. The lower revenues are expected primarily as a result of smaller personal and corporate income taxes, and sales tax collections. The report estimates total 2008-09 tax collections at $178 million lower than the Executive, so total available resources for 2009-2010 are expected to be $1.2 billion less than the Executive.

Citing dramatic drops in wage earnings and employment, particularly in the financial services sector, the Assembly Ways and Means Committee staff is predicting the state's economy will need serious help to recover from its current distressed condition.

"New York joins the rest of the nation in the midst of a deep recession, felt by everyone from low-income wage earners, to small business owners, to the largest financial services firms. Without the key revenues collected from Wall Street, this crisis impacts communities across the state," Silver said. "The Assembly is committed to working with the Executive and the Senate to craft a budget that fulfills our commitments to education, health, economic development and public protection, while ensuring that the burden of cuts does not fall disproportionately on poor and working class families."

"Extraordinary declines in consumer spending, huge job losses and an unstable housing market have stretched the spending power for New York's residents and businesses. At the same time, Wall Street and the financial sector cannot generate the income once produced, as it continues to try to survive," Farrell said. "These factors create real challenges that we must address as we ensure all New Yorkers continue to have access to decent education, affordable health care, and other essential services."

According to the report, the state's economic outlook for 2009 is poor, in large part due to Wall Street's collapse and the subsequent smaller annual bonus payments to employees in the financial services sector. Overall employment and wage growth are also down.