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Smaller bonuses for Wall Street executives could signal problem for New York State budget revenues

ALBANY – In a worrisome sign for state budget revenues, the securities industry in New York City saw profits decline by 10.5 percent in 2015, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli reported Monday.

Taxes paid from Wall Street profits, including bonuses for to executives, account for 17.5 percent of the state budget revenues that help pay for everything from aid to public schools to health care programs.

“It’s still a very significant contributor for the revenue base for the state,” DiNapoli said in a conference call with reporters.

DiNapoli said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislators should take the newly reported Wall Street financial snapshot into consideration for projected revenues in the state budget talks now underway at the Capitol.

DiNapoli said the average bonus paid to employees in the New York City securities industry dropped by 9 percent, to $146,200, in 2015.

The comptroller, who holds the roles of state fiscal watchdog and head of the massive pension system for state and local government workers, said pretax profits for New York Stock Exchange member firms fell to $14.3 billion in 2015, a drop of $1.7 billion from 2014.

But in a bright spot, the city’s securities industry posted its second straight year of employment gains. DiNapoli’s office estimated that for every Wall Street job, two others are created in New York City and one outside the city.

For securities industry executives employed in New York City, their total bonus pool dropped by 6 percent, to $25 billion, last year.