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N.Y. Damage From Sandy Could Top $18 Billion

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11/02/2012 | 07:06pm CEST

Economic damage from Hurricane Sandy could top $18 billion for New York state, Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said Friday.

The comptroller projects that tax revenue collections for the state, which are already $436 million below initial projections, will be affected in the short term. The comptroller is expected to issue his early outlook for the state's upcoming fiscal year next week.

His preliminary review of the storm's impact found that the disruption to New York's financial sector is expected to be minimal, but that any lingering negative effects from the storm could have significant implications because the sector accounts for about 14% of the state's tax collections and about 7% of New York City's.

The storm may also prevent New York City from breaking last year's records for tourist spending and attendance if the recovery continues into the holiday season, the comptroller said.

The damage estimate, of $15 billion to $18 billion, includes disruption to daily business and the loss of property and wealth, the comptroller's office said. The figures are based on initial assessments in relation to previous natural disasters.

"Though the rebuilding effort may offset some of these losses, we must continue to monitor what the long-term economic impact to New York will be," Mr. DiNapoli said in a statement.

Federal assistance will cover the full cost of emergency public transportation and power restoration, but Mr. DiNapoli supports the push by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York congressional delegation for full federal reimbursement for all repair and recovery costs.

Mr. DiNapoli said his office is accelerating the approval of contracts and payments related to hurricane recovery, as it did last year after Hurricane Irene.

Write to Mike Cherney at mike.cherney@dowjones.com.

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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