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Unshackle Upstate makes fiscal recommendations

Rochester Business Journal
August 6, 2014

The Unshackle Upstate coalition of businesses and trade organizations weighed in Wednesday on the projected increase of $4.2 billion in general fund receipts for the state’s current fiscal year, saying it should be spent on infrastructure and to pay down debt.

General fund receipts are expected to total $67.2 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, officials from the New York State Division of the Budget announced Monday in a quarterly update.

The general fund is projected to have a balance of $6.2 billion at fiscal year’s end, officials said. The balance in the enacted budget financial plan was estimated to be $2 billion.

The upward revision is entirely due to monetary settlements reached with banks and insurance companies since the fiscal year began April 1, budget officials said.

Additional settlements are possible before the fiscal year ends, they added.

“New York’s families are sometimes faced with similar dilemmas,” said Brian Sampson, Unshackle’s Rochester-based executive director. “When they receive a one-time cash infusion, such as a tax refund or an inheritance, should they fix the roof and pay down the mortgage, or blow it on an extravagant vacation?  

“We advise policymakers to take the fiscally responsible route: use these funds to address some of our essential infrastructure needs—including deteriorating roads, bridges and sewers—and pay down some of the state’s incredibly high and costly debt.”

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email service@rbj.net.


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