From the state comptroller’s review of New York City’s 2010 Financial Plan, a chart of actual spending growth from 2001 through 2008, and projected growth through 2013.

osc-city-spending1-3658561

The substantial out-year spending growth rates include some favorable assumptions in the city’s June plan: for example, that the Legislature will approve less expensive pension benefits for future city workers, saving $200 million in 2013, and that the city will be achieve health insurance savings of nearly $1.3 billion over the next three years through increases in employee co-pays.  So far, Mayor Bloomberg and municipal unions have reached a deal that will save less than half as much as the plan envisions.

Another key chart depicts the city’s operating results for the past decade, including big deficits in 2009 and 2010, which have been covered papered over by the use of surplus funds accumulated in previous years.

city-deficits-9995655

The city overcame the structural operating deficits of 2001-03 thanks to the record surge in revenues generated by the Wall Street boom of 2004-08.   Absent another boom, the much larger deficits of 2009-2010 will prove much more difficult to erase.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is the Empire Center’s founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.