State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli just announced approval of a $3.14 billion contract for construction of a new Tappan Zee Bridge.
The comptroller’s press release points out that “contract approval does not constitute approval of any financial plan, toll increase or debt issuance.” Which is a good thing, because a financial plan for the new TZB (including projected of debt and toll hikes) has yet to appear. When it emerges, the plan is expected to rely heavily on the state’s requested federal loan of up to $2.9 billion, although the state’s initial loan bid was denied by the feds last spring. The plan may also include some private and/or pension fund investments.
Meanwhile, the comptroller also reported today that the state’s cash receipts through December were still $48 million below forecast, a miss of about 1 percent. However, DiNapoli said personal income tax payments last month, including the final rush by high-income filers to cash in capital assets before the Jan. 1 federal tax hike, were above forecast. DiNapoli emphasized that receipts will still need to grow 7 percent in the final quarter (January-March) to hit the budget target.