RUNNING ON A RIP-OFF

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Terrorists, dying dot-coms and a tanking economy all did their part, but if you want to know who really torpedoed the city’s bottom line, says a new report, look no further than Albany.

“You can make an argument that Albany has done more damage to the city’s budget than 9/11 did,” said ex-city budget director Adam Barsky. “Credit agencies that monitor the city actually cite Albany as being more of a credit risk than anything else in the economy.”

In “Sympathy, but No Support,” issued last week by the Center for an Urban Future, Jonathan Bowles documents how Governor Pataki and the state legislature gutted the city’s budget through a series of tax breaks, labor giveaways, and inequitable aid formulas. Among the worst deals: The governor’s $750 million new economic development investment program, which gives money to all areas of the state except New York City; the October, 2001 ending of the yearly $114 million “stock transfer” payment; and a decade’s worth of reductions in municipal aid to the city. The result: more than $2 billion lost.

Check out the Center’s report by clicking the link to the Center for an Urban Future on the navigation bar above or by going directly to the website at www.nycfuture.org.