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Local

Sandy's impact on the state economy

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Photo from Governor Andrew Cuomo's Website

After touring the destruction, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy could cost up to $6 billion in New York alone based on an "initial estimate" from lost revenue and clean-up costs.

The New York City area plays a critical role in driving the economy and balancing the budget in Albany.  Wall Street alone generates 14 percent of the state's revenue.

Now, the State Comptroller is warning of difficult days ahead and significant economic damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.   

Just days before the Hurricane struck, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli issued a mid-year analysis showing state tax revenues are not on target and collections would have to grow 6.5 percent the remainder of the year to make up for the lower-than-expected revenue.

DiNapoli says on top of the budget barely holding together, there is going to be a negative impact from the storm. People can't get to work in some areas and the tourism sector will take a hit.  

"This has the potential, if there's a longer term impact, of requiring us to perhaps make some mid-year adjustments," DiNapoli told WBFO News.  

DiNapoli says it is too soon to put a number on the impact because other parts of the economy will see an increase in activity and perhaps increased revenue.

"The sale of home goods -- people replacing appliances or other fixtures that may have been destroyed. Construction -- what we saw in the southern tier of New York after Tropical Storm Irene hit with a significant increase, actually twice the rate of growth in sales tax as other parts of state," DiNapoli said.

The other variables in gauging the storm's financial toll on New York State DiNapoli says will be the pace of the recovery and the amount of support and aid provided by the federal government.  

Cuomo is seeking the maximum federal reimbursement.