Created by the government, public authorities are legally separate entities that provide services to the public as well as to the State and local governments. Public authorities are generally self-supporting through their revenue-generating activities. However, in some cases, governmental financial assistance and support is provided for operating and other expenses. New Yorkers pay for public authorities in a variety of ways including rates, tolls, fees and, in some cases, taxes.
The fiscal stability of the State is related in part to the fiscal stability of certain public authorities closely related to the State. The State’s access to public credit markets could be impaired if certain public authorities closely associated with the State were to default on their obligations.
- In addition to issuing debt for their own purposes, public authorities issue debt for which the State provides the funds for repayment. The Enacted Budget for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2016-17:
- increased bonding authorizations for 22 programs financed through State-Supported debt issued by public authorities; and
- provided for a net increase in these State-Supported bonding authorizations of approximately $8.7 billion, an increase of 8.5 percent over prior authorized levels.
- Public authorities and subsidiaries reported more than $64 billion in revenue and capital contributions in 2015.*
- Public authorities and subsidiaries reported making payments of nearly $12 billion pursuant to contracts in 2015.*
For more information, see Public Authorities.
* The data reported is submitted by public authorities through the Public Authorities Reporting Information System (PARIS). The data contained in PARIS and used in this section of the report is self-reported by the authorities and has not been verified by the Office of the State Comptroller. As required by Public Authorities Law, certain data submitted is required to be approved by the board of directors and/or have its accuracy and completeness certified in writing by the authority’s chief executive officer and chief financial officer. Not all authorities have complied with reporting requirements for 2015.
** Includes Utility Debt Securitization Authority debt outstanding.