Work from E.J. McMahon

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]

NY’s fiscal picture a bit murkier by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York State's fiscal outlook appears to have deteriorated in the past three months, based on an initial review of the financial plan update released late today by Governor Cuomo's Division of the Budget (DOB). [Read_more]

NY’s economy behind US pace by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York had one of the nation's slowest-growing state economies last year, according to the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. [Read_more]

First take on the Trump tax plan by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

From a New York perspective, the proposed repeal of itemized deductions for state and local tax payments was the (expected) headline item in the rough outline of a tax reform presented in Washington today by Trump administration officials. [Read_more]

NY wastes billions on ‘prevailing wage’ construction jobs by E.J. McMahon |  | New York Post

New York state, its local governments and public authorities are committed to spending tens of billions of dollars on public works in the next five to 10 years. But under current law, they’re also committed to wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on public works — to subsidize the above-market compensation of the state’s shrinking but politically influential construction unions. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s thought-free tuition offer by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo's "free" tuition plan bore all the earmarks of having been hastily reverse-engineered from a campaign slogan—a Bernie Sanders presidential campaign slogan, that is. Indeed, the governor didn't try hard to dispel that impression, inviting the Vermont senator himself to deliver a endorsement of the plan when it was first rolled out at a Queens College rally on Jan. 3. [Read_more]

Budget pluses and minuses by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The positives in New York's FY2018 budget make up a pretty short list—while the negatives are in some respects worse than usual. A quick and superficial initial rundown follows. [Read_more]

NY’s new tax break—for a few by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Out of the clear blue sky, a provision making labor union dues fully deductible for state personal income tax purposes was inserted in New York's final fiscal 2018 budget deal, which was enacted by the Legislature over the weekend. [Read_more]

Oink yet again by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The tentative state budget deal would pour another $385 million into the biggest, murkiest pork-barrel slush fund New York has ever seen.

The latest version of the Capital Projects bill (A.3004D) would further fatten the State and Municipal Facilities Program (SMFP), building total funds available through the program to $1.64 billion. [Read_more]

Don’t ‘overcommit’ on budget by E.J. McMahon |  | New York Post

Amid the smoke and confusion surrounding this week’s on-again, off-again budget dance in Albany, Gov. Cuomo made a point well worth repeating.

Noting big federal-policy changes afoot in Washington, Cuomo said Wednesday evening that his top priority was “to make sure we do not overcommit ourselves financially.”

That’s an eminently responsible position. Too bad the governor hasn’t followed his own advice. [Read_more]

Exploring NY’s top-heavy PIT base by E.J. McMahon |  | Reports

Nearly two-thirds of New York State’s tax receipts are now generated by the personal income tax, or PIT, which relies disproportionately on the highest-earning one percent of New York taxpayers.

This paper presents charts and tables highlighting notable trends in state PIT data in light of proposals to extend or increase the state’s so-called “millionaire tax,” along with scheduled PIT rate reductions in tax brackets below the highest income levels. [Read_more]

Heastie’s gazillionaire tax by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

When it comes to soaking the rich to pad the state budget, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie won't be outdone by Governor Andrew Cuomo's "millionaire tax." [Read_more]