New York State Comptroller Edward V. Regan said the level of "one shot" revenue raisers included in the state's fiscal 1993 budget is much higher than estimated by the state Division of Budget.
Mr. Regan said in a report issued Tuesday that the amount of one shots in the current fiscal year budget, which began April 1, is $730 million more than Gov. Mario M. Cuomo said state lawmakers used to balance the budget.
The report says one shots are expected to generate $1.18 billion in revenues, not the $450 million in additional revenues announced by Gov. Cuomo after he and the state Legislature agreed on a spending plan for the current fiscal year.
"There may be technical disagreements over the definition of 'one shots' but we believe our analysis will withstand close scrutiny," Mr. Regan also said, "When [one shots] proliferate into a major budgetary balancing tool, involve bizarre and costly financing schemes that mask excessive state spending and contribute to deficit borrowings, then the state is stepping out of fiscal bounds."
Claudia S. Hutton, a spokeswoman for the state's Division of Budget, criticized Mr. Regan's report, saying that both his numbers as well as his method of calculating the amount of one-shot revenue raisers was flawed. "He tends to count everything he doesn't like as one shots," Ms. Hutton said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Last month, Gov. Cuomo announced that the state had reduced its use of one shots to $450 million from the $2.71 billion recorded in the 1992 fiscal year.
The reduction even prompted Mr. Regan to concede that the amount of one shots used this year is lower than the number the state previously used to balance the budget.
Several observers of the state's finances attributed the huge difference in the use of one shots largely to the accounting used by the governor and the comptroller.
For example, Mr. Regan counted a $50 million one shot in revenues generated from the sale of the Aqueduct Raceway's parking lot from the New York Racing Association to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersy. A spokeman for Mr. Regan said the state plans on using the money even though the state is still negotiating the sale with the racing association.
Ms. Hutton said, however, that the state has not included the sale of the parking lot in its 1993 financial plan, so it cannot be considered a one shot.
Officials from the credit-rating agencies said the report represented another view of how to calculate one shots.
"I think ther's a semantic battle going on here," said Vladimir Y. Stadnyk, a managing director at Standard & Poor's Corp., which rates New York State general obligations A-minus with a negative outlook. "We're always concerned with one shots. But we feel more sanguine now than in prior years because the number of one shots has been reduced."
Catherine Fleischmann, an assistant vice president at Moody's Investors Service, which rates the state's GOs A, said the number of one shots "is always a moving target" and that the "truth lies someplace between the governor and the comptroller." Moody's calculates that the number of one shots used to balance the 1993 state budget is $911 million.
"I didn't substantially disagree with the budget office's estimates," said Claire G. Cohen, an executive vice president at Fitch Investors Service, which rates the state GOs A-plus. "It's a matter of interpretation. And there's always a certain number of items that don't reoccur."