"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Another Sweep From Northern New York

Northern New Yorkers will help balance the state budget for the second straight year with sweeps from accounts that have been established to benefit our region. The governor last year chose the snowmobile trail maintenance account to sweep money from and this year it is the New York Power Authority, NYPA account.

From the Executive budget

  • New York Power Authority Transfers. The New York Power Authority would transfer $306 million to the state’s General Fund in 2008-09 and $170 million in 2009-10. Of this amount, $215 million represents funds that were reserved by NYPA to pay for the disposal of waste at a federal repository. It is anticipated that NYPA will not need these funds for several years. The remaining transfer represents assets not necessary to meet NYPA’s short term operating, capital or debt service costs. (2008-09 Savings: $306 million; 2009-10 Savings: $170 million)

Yesterday Governor Paterson signed the power pact with ALCOA, but he did a reach around and got our wallet. The NYPA funds could be or should be reserved to invest in economic development in Northern and Western New York, which is part of NYPA's mission. The funds could be used for investment in new jobs or lowering cost of electricity.

New York has swept funds from NYPA before but they were appropriately used for programs like Power for Jobs and not just to simply balance the budget.

The north country state legislatiors should be working to reverse this policy decision.


TourPro said...

Are you serious?

Clearly, this is money they don't need. Also, NYPA does not exactly have a stellar record of using taxpayer money efficiently.

Anonymous said...

If they don't need it, why not return it to the ratepayers who paid it in the first place?

Why should our homeowners and businesses pay higher utility rates (i.e., the NYPA surplus) so that Albany can take our money and spend more of it downstate?

Or why can't the resources we have in the North Country, e.g., hydropower, be reserved for the benefit of our communities?

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