Work from E.J. McMahon

Private job gains weak in NY by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The largest upstate New York metro areas had weak or declining private job numbers in October, and the state as a whole trailed the national employment trend, according to the latest year-over-year data from the state Labor Department. [Read_more]

Right point, wrong data by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The lead editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal highlights the role that high taxes have played in driving migration trends out of New York and other high-tax states.

Marginal tax rates matter, as the Journal very correctly points out. Unfortunately, in making this important point, the editorial relies a bit too much on a misinterpretation of migration data produced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which tracks the movement of taxpayers among the 50 states. [Read_more]

New York’s budgetary “boo!” by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Ten days after the report's Halloween due date, Governor Cuomo's Division of the Budget (DOB) has just issued a mid-year Financial Plan update that might as well be wearing a fright mask.

The update reduces revenue projections by $850 million this year, and by another $850 in each of the next two years, mostly as a result of an estimated $750 million drop in annual personal income tax reductions. [Read_more]

State revenues sinking deeper? by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York State's budget gap through fiscal 2018-19 could be a whopping $4.6 billion worse than indicated by Governor Cuomo's latest Division of the Budget (DOB) projections, according to new estimates from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. [Read_more]

The NY tax hike in Trump’s tax cut by E.J. McMahon |  | New York Post

Plenty of unintended consequences, positive and negative, will be lurking in the fine print of the tax-reform bill unveiled Thursday by House Republicans.

But it’s already clear the plan would clobber Albany’s favorite cash cow: the seven-figure earners who generate more than 40 percent of the state income tax. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s mid-year tardiness continues by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Until a few months ago, Governor Cuomo could boast of producing an "on-time budget" in each of his first six years in office. But he also continues to steadily build on another kind of record: for a seventh consecutive year, he has now missed the statutory deadline for issuing the state's Mid-Year Financial Plan Update. [Read_more]

California Dreamin’ on SALT by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo today staged a public joint conference-call with California Governor Jerry Brown to discuss the impact on their respective states of a proposal to eliminate the state and local tax deduction (SALT on federal income taxes. [Read_more]

Trouble on NY’s budget horizon by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The September cash report from the state comptroller's office—an important indicator of New York's fiscal health at the halfway mark of the fiscal year—highlights growing budgetary worries for Governor Cuomo and (ultimately) the Legislature.

The report showed that total state tax receipts through September 30 had come in $387 million below the level projected for that period in the First Quarterly Update issued in July—which itself reflected a $1.6 billion downward adjustment from the cash flow projection in the Executive Budget presented by Cuomo in January. [Read_more]

SALT loss, upstate tax wound by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Vice President Pence visited western New York to tout a federal tax reform plan that could still end up saving less for Buffalo area taxpayers than their counterparts elsewhere in the country. [Read_more]

The conservative case for keeping SALT in US taxes by E.J. McMahon |  | New York Post

Hypocrisy aside, Cuomo’s strident opposition to repeal of the SALT deduction is understandable. Even with a larger standard deduction, the outlined plan might not deliver a big tax cut for middle-class New Yorkers. [Read_more]

About Trump’s tax “framework” by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The tax reform “framework” issued Wednesday by President Trump and congressional Republican leaders told us little we didn’t already know about their shared tax policy goals—while continuing to leave many key questions unanswered. [Read_more]

NY metros’ weak GDP growth by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

All 12 of New York State's metropolitan statistical areas had economic growth rates below the national average in 2016, according to newly released federal data. [Read_more]

How money doesn’t walk by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York's loss of residents to other states is a long-established and troubling trend. But the impact of out-migration on the Empire State's economy, and on personal income in particular, is another, more complicated story.

Unfortunately, the annual release of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data on interstate taxpayer migration continues to inspire some wrongheaded conclusions on this score. [Read_more]

Still ticking, all the same by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

On the heels of a strong investment return in 2017, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli just announced a slight reduction in taxpayer-funded pension rates for the state and its local governments. [Read_more]

Why N.J. commuters are N.Y.’s economic development cash cows by E.J. McMahon |  | Star-Ledger

New York pols need to recognize that it's in their own interest to pay more attention to these commuters, if only to keep their tax payments flowing smoothly. At the very least, that means giving a higher priority to infrastructure improvements that benefit taxpayers on both sides of the Hudson. [Read_more]

De Blasio’s awful tax hike timing by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Mayor Bill de Blasio says the wealthiest New Yorkers should "chip in a little extra"—a mere $800 million in higher income taxes, or an average of $25,000 per affected household—to pay for subway improvements and transit fare subsidies. But given Washington's tax reform agenda, de Blasio's latest soak-the-rich tax hike proposal is badly timed. [Read_more]

State’s retiree health debt grows by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York State's unfunded liability for other post-employment benefits (OPEB) grew to $87.3 billion in fiscal 2017, a $9.4 billion increase over the previous year, according to a disclosure in the state Budget Division's just-released Financial Plan Update for the first quarter of fiscal 2017. [Read_more]

Wisconsin Lesson for NY by E.J. McMahon |  | New York Post

President Trump last week suggested that economically struggling upstate New York residents should be willing to move to areas with better job prospects. This wasn’t exactly an original or outrageous idea — yet it still managed to ruffle feathers among defensive New York officials. [Read_more]

NY’s June job numbers mixed by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo staged a series of upstate ribbon-cutting events at which he again touted the region's economic progress. Today came something of a reality check: the monthly state Labor Department jobs report, which showed weak year-to-year private employment growth in upstate's largest metro areas. [Read_more]

Sizing up tax reform by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Seemingly stalled on health care and Medicaid, congressional Republicans and the Trump administration will soon turn their attention to taxes—another area in which federal reform offers mixed prospects for New York State. [Read_more]

A few billion Cuomo can send to the MTA now by E.J. McMahon |  | New York Post

Over the past three years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reaped an unprecedented windfall of more than $10 billion in fines and penalties paid by major financial institutions for violating various state and federal banking laws.

Coming virtually out of the blue, the windfall represented a unique opportunity to get ahead of the state’s most pressing problems — including but not limited to those of the transit system.

It’s an opportunity Cuomo has mostly squandered. [Read_more]

The (continued) graying of NY by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Compared to national and statewide averages, rural counties in upstate New York have a much larger share of residents aged 65 and older, the latest Census Bureau estimates show.

The 65+ population was 15.3 percent of the U.S. total as of mid-2016, according to census data released today. The Empire State as a whole was just a hair above the national average, with 15.4 percent of New Yorkers falling into the age category that demographers generally tag as elderly. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s cloaked CSEA deal by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo sprang his announcement of a five-year contract agreement with state's largest union on Tuesday afternoon— the last possible moment to win legislative approval of the deal so checks can start going out to union members. But he released absolutely no details of what he was about to ask lawmakers to approve before they end their session today. [Read_more]

NY schools spend $21,206 per pupil by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York's public schools spent $21,206 per pupil in the 2014-15 school year, topping all states and exceeding the national average by 86 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released today. [Read_more]

Music, gaming payola on tap again by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Having just extended nearly $1.3 billion in tax-funded giveaways to wealthy film and TV producers, New York lawmakers are ready to throw even more money at the entertainment industry. [Read_more]