Think the problem’s skimpy funding? Sorry: In 2017, the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon reported in May, New York shelled out 89% more per kid than the national average. And that gap has been growing fast: In 1997, per-pupil outlays here were just 45% above average.
A Schenectady County employee was the Capital Region’s highest-paid municipal government worker during the state’s 2019 fiscal year, according to the latest edition of “What They Make,” the Empire Center’s annual report summarizing total local government pay.
Seven of the 10 highest-paid municipal employees in the eight-county Capital Region worked for Schenectady County, the Empire Center for Public Policy noted.
While the individual salary numbers have been previously reported for the seven men — a child protective services caseworker, a doctor, a lawyer, three law enforcement officers and an economic developer — the report released Wednesday ranks them in comparison to the other counties outside New York City.
E.J. McMahon, research director for the Empire Center for Public Policy, said Cuomo effectively suggested it costs the state $25 to produce each license plate, an assertion he labeled "preposterous."
A Delaware County employee was named the highest-paid in the Southern Tier, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany-based nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank.
E.J. McMahon, with the fiscal watchdog group the Empire Center, said it makes sense for the state to replace plates that are peeling and hard to read, in an era where toll collections are increasingly dependent on electronic scanners.
"We’re in an era now where the state increasingly is literally banking on the legibility of license plates to enforce tolling," McMahon said.
But a recession wouldn't be good for New York State, either. It could mean less funding for schools or higher taxes. The state budget relies heavily on the personal income tax, drawn mainly from wealthy individuals, says EJ McMahon of the Empire Center.
"The 'current' $25 fee was for an optional plate choice," said E.J. McMahon, research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy. "The new fee will be mandatory -- the first time ever. This is a revenue grab under the guise of a PR stunt. Yes, the plates need replacement. But they don’t cost $25 apiece to manufacture."