A Ramapo town police officer who collected nearly $442,000 was New York State’s highest paid local government employee outside New York City during the 12 months ending March 31, according to the 2017 edition of “What They Make,” the Empire Center annual analysis of local government pay.

The report features the average pay and number of employees for the counties, cities, towns and villages outside New York City during the 12 months ending March 31, 2017, and includes separate averages and totals for uniformed police and fire employees. The data used to generate the report, including a breakdown by name and employer of 174,635 individuals who received $9.7 billion in total pay during the year, are searchable on SeeThroughNY.net, the Empire Center’s transparency website.

The newest data show that, among active local government workers belonging to the New York State and Local Retirement System:

  • The highest paid employee was Ramapo town police officer Thomas C. Donnelly, who collected  $441,968.  Donnelly reportedly retired in August.
  • For the second year in a row, 47 of the 50 highest-paid employees overall were police officers. Among the top 10, Donnelly and five others were town police officers in Rockland County.
  • The 20 police officers in the Village of Kings Point in Nassau County had the highest average pay of any group of employees, at $220,088.

“Personnel costs are the biggest part of most local government budgets, and thereby the biggest driver behind our high property taxes,” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center. “This report provides a tool for local officials and taxpayers who want to see how their community stacks up.”

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and do business.

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