Work from E.J. McMahon

The Senate GOP’s mixed bag on taxes by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

State Senate Republicans today issued a "Blueprint for a Stronger New York" that combines a few solid big-picture tax reduction priorities with more of the wasteful "tax relief" gimmickry that's become a standard feature of the Senate GOP tax policy agenda in recent years. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s magical tax thinking by E.J. McMahon |  | New York Post

The governor said he’d explore the feasiblity of “a major shift” of New York’s state tax burden from individuals (who will be losing federal deductions) to businesses (which will be keeping them), via a new statewide payroll tax on employers.

The idea might sound plausible on the surface. But on closer inspection, replacing even part of New York’s personal income tax (PIT) with a payroll tax would be fraught with mind-bending complications — and not very feasible at all. [Read_more]

Hunting for a new SALT shaker by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Now that the feds have limited the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for individuals, should New York's no-longer-fully-deductible personal income tax (PIT) be converted into an employer payroll tax? [Read_more]

The double-edged sword of prepayment by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York homeowners lining up to prepay property taxes in order to reduce their federal income taxes will also be in line for a temporary added cut in their 2017 state personal income tax. As a result, however, the prepayment phenomenon will also at least slightly erode the state government's already sagging income tax receipts in the current fiscal year—while making many of the same homeowners liable for at least a small tax hike in 2018.The rush to prepay local property taxes before the end of 2017, encouraged by Governor Cuomo in reaction to federal reform, will have some unintended consequences. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s Yuletide veto gifts by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo is ending the year on a strong pro-taxpayer note, vetoing union-backed legislation that would have blocked the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority from imposing pay freezes to balance the county budget. [Read_more]

NY out-migration tops 1 million by E.J. McMahon |  | Reports

New York lost another 190,508 residents to other states, bringing the state's total domestic migration change since 2010 to a net loss of more than 1 million people. [Read_more]

What the tax bill really means for New York by E.J. McMahon |  | New York Post

You don’t have to be a fan of the federal tax deal to realize its impact on states like New York has been misrepresented by most of its leading political critics. [Read_more]

Little for NY in latest fed tax twist by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

For the millionaire earners who generate an outsized share of New York State's income tax receipts, a possible congressional deal to trim the top tax rate in the final federal tax reform bill would take some of the sting out of losing the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.
[Read_more]

NYS teacher pension costs to rise by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York's second largest public pension fund continues to move—at a glacial pace—towards a more reasonable and prudent assumption of its future investment earnings. [Read_more]

Deadline? What deadline? by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

For the eighth consecutive year, New York's governor and Legislature have failed to comply with a decade-old law designed to foster a "quick start" of the state budget process for the next fiscal year. [Read_more]

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]