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The latest economic data for New York continues to relate a tale of two states. Private sector employment growth in New York as a whole slightly trailed the national average on a year-to-year basis, but was much stronger in the New York City metropolitan area. The 52-county upstate region grew at just half the national rate from April 2012 to April 2013, according totoday’s monthly jobs release from the state Labor Department. Read More

The state pension fund gained about 10.4 percent on its investments during the recently ended 2012-13 fiscal year, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced today. The latest gain is comfortably above the pension fund’s 7.5 percent target rate of return. Read More

Opponents of Governor Cuomo’s 2 percent property tax cap were able to stick one major exclusion into the legislation before it passed in 2011: a provision excluding a portion of local government and school employee pensions from the total allowable “levy limit” in years when taxpayer-funded employer contributions rise by more than two percentage points of salaries. Read More

President Obama’s proposed cap on itemized federal income tax deductions for state and local taxes would cost New York residents $3.8 billion a year, according to a report released by Governor Cuomo’s office today. However, you’ll have to dig a little to find that number: Obama isn’t mentioned until page 11 of the 26-page document. Read More

New York is cited as “something of a case study in all that is wrong with Medicaid,” but also as a state “in the vaguard” of Medicaid reform, in a new National Affairs article by Paul Howard, director of Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress. Read More

President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget revives his proposal to cap the value of itemized income tax deductions for the highest-earning 3 percent of taxpayers, a category starting at $200,000 of taxable income for single filers and $250,000 for married filers. Read More

Noting that New Yorkers had been treated last week to “almost daily political perp walks” involving “a parade of office-holders,” an editorial in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal pointed out: “The bigger scandal in the Empire State continues to be what the politicians do that’s legal.” Read More

Public employee unions can’t invoke the Triborough Amendment to preserve old pension plans that did not require employee contributions, the state Court of Appeals held in two cases this week. The rulings, favoring management in the cities of Yonkers and Oswego, were a solid win for taxpayers. Read More

Defending the new state budget’s three-year “millionaire’s tax” extension in a Newsday op-ed today, Governor Cuomo writes: “The extension doesn’t take place until 2015, the year our financial projections show a $5-billion budget gap. By extending this tax, which generates $2 billion, the state addresses the future gap.” Read More

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