The City of New York

For Immediate Release
October 15, 1997
Contact: Herbert Block
(212) 442-0629


Report Shows Voter's Dilemma on Bond Act

On Election Day, November 4th, voters in New York State will face a difficult choice between addressing a major school facility problem and exacerbating a problematic budgetary outlook for the state when they decide whether to approve the School Facility Health and Safety Bond Act of 1997, according to a study released today by the New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO). The Bond Act would authorize the state to borrow up to $2.4 billion through the issuance of bonds to fund capital projects related to the construction, expansion, and modernization of public school facilities. IBO's study examines school facility needs, the implementation details of the Bond Act (including comparisons to other bond propositions over the last two decades), the fiscal impact of the Bond Act, the state's budgetary condition, and other potential ways to address school facility needs.

The IBO report concludes that the Bond Act would help meet the immediate school capital needs that exist in both New York State and New York City, but it is not possible to determine how the bond proceeds would be distributed and whether they would be directed to the areas of greatest need. Even though the Bond Act would provide $2.4 billion in new funds, the striking deficiencies in New York State's education infrastructure means that some school facility needs may go unmet. The state's long-term fiscal health remains a concern, however, because the state faces significant out-year budget gaps and its debt payments on outstanding bonds continue to grow at more than double the rate of its revenue collections.

IBO prepared this analysis to enhance public understanding of the pending Bond Act in accordance with its City Charter mandate to provide objective and impartial analysis to the public regarding fiscal and budgetary issues facing New York City. "IBO does not advocate a position on the Bond Act but we do recommend that all voters cast an informed ballot on this important issue," said Douglas A. Criscitello, IBO Director.

The main findings in IBO's eight-page fiscal brief are:

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Click Here for the report

Copies of this fiscal brief are available by calling (212) 442-0632 or writing to the
Independent Budget Office,
110 William Street, New York, NY 10038.

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