As part of the February stimulus package, Washington offered new inducement for municipalities to issue taxable bonds. The program may have the effect of pushing up tax rates for the wealthy. Read More
That mindlessly right-wing rag, The New York Times, has that makes a simple and salient point about New York City pensions. If Albany won't cooperate on real pension reform, one good way for the mayor to keep pension costs down is to contro Read More
In April, the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority won Albany's approval for a new, $1.5 billion annual tax on downstate payrolls. Now, the authority, with fresh finance-committee approval this morning, is moving to float a $600 millio Read More
The . And out of left field, there's this: Ms. Feinstein has threatened to vote against Mr. Obama’s health care bill if it draws funds from high-cost areas like California to low-cost areas of the country. Ms. Feinstein noted that Ca Read More
Congress is set to approve an add-on to the February stimulus law that will allow public-transit agencies, including New York's state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to spend 10 percent of their stimulus money on operating costs, rather th Read More
While it began under bizarre circumstances, the current (apparent, informal) 31-31 deadlock over who should control the New York State Senate is not unprecedented. Elsewhere around the country, there have been 38 other instances since 1966--includi Read More
That's the message of the Federal Reserve's monthly , released today. For those in search of a silver lining, there's this: Future indexes were generally positive and continued to rise, conveying an expectation that conditions should imp Read More
The Citizens Budget Commission, in , observes that a one-year wage freeze for all 308,000 city employees would save taxpayers a whopping $1.2 billion annually -- not just once, but forever (assuming the city wouldn't make up for it with bigger raise Read More
If the Republican leaders of the newly reconstituted state Senate majority really intend to press for property tax relief before the end of session, they should start by reviving the school property tax cap. But they should ignore the latest version of the tax cap sent up to the Legislature by Governor David Paterson. The governor's new program bill includes a gigantic carve-out for teacher retirement costs, which over the next few years will be skyrocketing. Read More
A major transit union may shut down London's Tube for two days starting tonight, "making life wretched for most of the working population," in the words of the Evening Standard. The strike, if it happens, is partly the legacy of the national governme Read More
Governor Paterson today announced he's calling "Bold Steps to the New Economy." What's bold about the plan is not immediately apparent; what's new apparently boils down to $100 million in state grants to be doled out "over several years" to attrac Read More
Has the Paterson Administration just deprived itself of crucial leverage over the largest state employee unions during two challenging fiscal years ahead? It sure sounds that way, if the unions themselves are to be believed. Read More
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