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Comptroller: Hurricane Sandy could cost state $18 billion

The State Comptroller estimates that Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath will cost the state as much as $18 billion.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says “it’s hard to quantify” right now the true costs of the storm, but he says based on a number of factors, losses could be between $15 to $18 billion for the state.

He says Wall Street was down for a few days, and tourism which is “a big driver of the city’s economy,” may suffer.  There are also economic losses from property damage, people not being able to get to their jobs, and small business closures, according to the comptroller.

DiNapoli says the losses are likely to blow a bigger hole in the state’s budget, at least for the short run.

New York  already had an estimated $1 billiondeficit, and tax collections had been running slightly below what had been projected. The comptroller says those numbers will be compiled next week.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.