Local governments are not racing to adopt the state's early retirement incentive, which would help trim their payrolls while increasing their pension costs. In St. Lawrence County, officials have advised county legislators to vote against offering... Read More

E.J. and I had a podcast chat this morning to run through some of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s 2009 payroll data, released last week by the Empire Center's The data show that last year, the MTA's 74,708 workers... Read More

Taxpayers pay an average of $39.81 per hour to employ state and local government workers nationwide. That's $12 per hour more than total compensation costs for private-sector employees... Read More

Local media has picked up on the NYC Independent Budget Office's blog post on the precipitous drop in wages in New York's securities industry in 2009. The get-it-over-with-fast drop mightn't have been such a bad thing for the city -- if local, state... Read More

Most news coverage of yesterday's budget vote reflected the approach of today's New York Times headline: "Albany Lawmakers Pass Big Cuts in Health Care." In fact, net of those cuts, the state-funded share of Medicaid spending will increase this year... Read More

Erie County workers vote this week on a tentative contract giving them a 15 percent raise over five years in exchange for eliminating paid retiree health insurance for future hires, as well as requiring a 50 percent contribution for recent hires. Read More

The House has passed the White House's request for an extension of the Build America Bond program 'till 2012, and the Senate is getting there. Just what state, local, and the federal government need: more "cheap" debt, thanks to an implicit federal... Read More

New York has the second most progressive distribution of federal income taxes among the 50 states, according to a new analysis from the Tax Foundation. From the Tax Foundation's Fiscal Fact: Taxpayers earning more than $200,000 earned 40 percent of... Read More

Warren Buffett had this to say before Washington's Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission yesterday (via Bloomberg) about the debt of state and local governments: "There will be a terrible problem and then the question becomes will the federal government help... Read More

Many if not most New York City teachers will continue receiving automatic longevity pay increases despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg's announcement today that he will "eliminate raises" for them in the next budget. In fact, as illustrated... Read More