Blueprint for a Better Budget: A Plan of Action for New York State

Billions in temporary federal stimulus funds have only postponed the inevitable. After living beyond its means for many years, the Empire State faces a day of reckoning. Raising state taxes even higher will only stifle the economic recovery. Continuing reliance on stopgap measures to balance the budget will prolong the crisis—leading to even deeper, more intractable problems in the future. Simply passing costs on to local governments and school districts will compound the already severe burden of local taxes across New York. The solution is to permanently reduce the size and cost of both state and local government to a level New Yorkers can afford. That demands sweeping, fundamental and permanent changes in the way government does business—the kind of changes described in this report. It can be done. And if New York is to avoid a California-style collapse, it must be done.

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