| NEW YORK
NEW YORK Jan 12 New York State's public
authorities including the Dormitory Authority, the Empire State
Development Corp and the Thruway Authority have $267 billion of
total debt outstanding, or $13,487 for every resident, the
state's chief fiscal officer said in a report on Thursday.
The authorities are not subject to the same oversight,
transparency and contracting rules as other government bodies.
Yet New York is relying on them more often as a way to bypass a
state requirement that some borrowing must be approved by
voters, a report from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
"New York's public authorities play an increasingly
influential role in government yet they operate outside the
traditional checks and balances that apply to state agencies,"
DiNapoli said. "As a result, New York is shouldering a huge debt
load issued by public entities operating in the shadows that
voters never approved."
Most such authorities do not have taxing power and repay
their debt using revenue generated from projects they oversee,
including tolls on roads.
As of September 2016, New York had 1,192 public authorities,
including 324 state-level authorities and subsidiaries, 860
local authorities and eight interstate or international
authorities, DiNapoli's report said.
More than a fifth of the total outstanding debt was
"backdoor borrowing," when authorities issued debt that was
actually for state purposes, according to the report.
(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by David Gregorio)