Blog

The second of two Election Eve check-in-the-mailbox tax credit gimmicks concocted by state officials in Albany is unfolding this week. Most New York State homeowners outside New York City have received or are about to receive a payment equivalent to roughly 2 percent of their 2014-15 school property taxes—which will average roughly $60 upstate to $150 in downstate suburbs. This is on top of the $350 tax credit sent recently to families that had at least one child under 17 as of 2012. Read More

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli likes to point out that he oversees one of the nation's best-funded public pension systems. That's true—although, given the competition, it's not nearly as impressive as it may sound. Read More

Is New York State abiding by the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. Quinn, which said that union fees cannot be collected from government-subsidized daycare providers who are not “full-fledged” public employees? Read More

Local school boards and superintendents “are all over the map on” Proposal 3, the ballot initiative that would let the state borrow $2 billion for distribution to schools that want to buy new computers and build pre-kindergarten classrooms. So says Dr. Merryl H. Tisch—and as chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, she ought to know. Read More

In a resounding win for Governor Andrew Cuomo and for property owners across New York, a state Supreme Court justice in Albany has dismissed a teachers' union lawsuit that sought to invalidate New York State's property tax cap on constitutional grounds. Read More

The New York City region, including Long Island and the Hudson Valley, accounted for 94 percent of the net new private-sector jobs created in New York State during the 12 month period ending in August, according to the state Labor Department's latest monthly jobs report. On a year-to-year basis, New York's statewide job creation rate of 1.9 percent trailed the national private job creation rate of 2.1 percent. New York matched the (painfully low) 0.1 percent national private job growth rate on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis. Read More

The $300 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers), America's largest public pension fund, is eliminating its $4 billion stake hedge funds due to their "complexity, cost, and the lack of ability to scale," the fund's interim chief investment officer has just announced. But the the $180 billion New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS), the nation's second largest public pension fund, is poised to move in the opposite direction. Read More

New York's local governments are falling behind in "meeting their responsibilities to adequately maintain and improve" their physical infrastructure, says a new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office. However, as the report points out, the problem isn't just a lack of money. Read More

Public-sector unions are only "superficially" democratic, often leading them to take positions opposed by a substantial number of their members and to take more interest in retirement benefits for older members than in wages and working conditions, according to a new study. Read More

A Rust Belt industrial "boom" spurred by new energy production is the focus of a front-page story in today's New York Times — highlighting, once again, the sort of growth upstate New York is not experiencing while Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to stall the issuance of regulations allowing hydraulic fracturing to produce shale gas. Read More

There’s been a huge increase in gas production in the Utica shale region, including two highly productive finds just across the New York border in northern Pennsylvania. And so the economic opportunity cost of New York State’s moratorium on shale gas exploration keeps on rising. Read More

It’s no surprise that Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli was able to announce another decrease in the tax-funded employer contribution rates to the state's biggest public pension fund. But the fund remains a bomb in the making. Read More