New York City's severe post-9/11 fiscal crunch has prompted fresh calls in some quarters for reinstating the city's commuter tax, which could generate as much as $500 million, to help close a projected budget gap of $3.5 billion. Read More
One of first things Mayor Bloomberg needs to do is to disabuse himself of the notion that the city's budget gap is mainly "a revenue problem," as he put it soon after the election. Yes, revenue projections have fallen sharply in the wake of the World Trade Center attack. But the city faced a budget gap even pre-9/11 - and the fundamental reason is spending. Read More
Much of Gov. Pataki's proposed state budget (his costly expansion of health care, in particular) is a far cry from the leaner, cleaner fiscal plans of his first term. But in at least one crucial respect, New York's revenue shortfall has prompted a welcome return to his budgetary roots: For the first time in seven years, the governor is launching a concerted effort to reduce the size of the state work force. Read More
One welcome change in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's preliminary budget is a more accurate count of New York City's enormous municipal workforce. It turns out there are even more city employees than anyone previously thought -- ironically underscoring just how little Mayor Bloomberg is initially proposing in the way of agency workforce reductions, despite all the talk of budgetary "pain." Read More
As if New York's economy wasn't already stressed enough, there's a renewed push in the City Council for a local "living wage" law that could hinder the city's economic renewal while reducing job opportunities for the very people it is supposed to help. Read More
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