NYS Comptroller Says Sandy Economic Damage Could Top $18 Billion
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli yesterday projected the economic damage from Hurricane Sandy could exceed $18 billion for New York State alone.
DiNapoli says “These are difficult days for New Yorkers as we work to clean up and recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.”
The Comptroller is projecting that tax revenue collections for the state, which are already $436 million below initial projections, will be affected in the short term. DiNapoli will issue his early outlook for the upcomingstate fiscal year next week.
DiNapoli’s estimate of $15 billion to $18 billion is based on initial assessments in relation to previous natural disasters. Economic losses include disruption to daily business and the loss of property and wealth,some of which may not be included in other estimates. Preliminary estimates of the fiscal impact of Hurricane Sandy are speculative, DiNapoli said, as there are many unresolved economic variables, from the duration of power outages to the effects of flooding on infrastructure and the environment.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority was facing fiscal strain before the storm. And some local governments hit hard by Sandy, such as the city of Long Beach, were already experiencing severe stress. DiNapoli notes that while federal assistance will cover the full cost of emergency public transportation and power restoration, he supports the push by Governor Cuomo, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and the New York delegation for full federal reimbursement for all repair and recovery costs.
The Comptroller has directed his staff to prepare a more comprehensive analysis of the economic impact on the city, state and local governments as more concrete information becomes available.