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March 5, 2004

Comptroller: Lawmakers shouldn't count on excess revenues this year

Lawmakers shouldn't count too much on economic forecasting reports predicting future growth in the state's economy, State Comptroller Alan Hevesi warned in a new report.

“While current executive and legislative forecasts for 2005 and after are for continued, though lower, growth, there are number of risks that could derail the economy, most notably the lack of growth in jobs and the increasing federal deficit,” the report said.

The report critiqued the recent economic forecasts released by the Governor and the Legislature, and warned that the forecasts, while credible, were not certain predictors of future revenues.

“Unique” conditions in the state, such as the increasing reliance on gambling for education funds, and delays in agreements with Native Americans over taxation of cigarettes and gas, may have an impact on revenues, the report said.

“New York continues to lag the nation in recovery,” the report said. Some of the state's major industries, including manufacturing, financial activities, and business, have experienced large declines in employment, the report added.

For the full report, visit www.osc.state.ny.us/.