County and Municipal Payrolls in NYS

piggybankstny-300x175-6935773Local government is a labor-intensive business, and employee compensation is the single biggest element of most municipal budgets. The 2011-12 edition of What They Make, the Empire Center’s annual report on public payrolls, allows New York taxpayers to compare this key element of local government costs around the state.

The salary information in this report is based on data submitted to the New York State and Local Retirement System by all local governments other than New York City. The county and municipal data do not include job titles, which are not reported to the state comptroller, although uniformed police officers and firefighters are classified in a separate retirement system.

The county and municipal payroll database consists of all full-time and part-time workers enrolled in the pension system at any point from April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012, including employees who left or retired, and those hired during the year. Salary totals, included in the averages, include overtime and pay for unused sick and vacation time. It is important to note that the figures do not include pension contributions, health insurance, and other fringe benefits, important elements of compensation that can easily amount to 30 to 40 percent of salary costs.

This report provides a summary analysis of payroll information, broken down into two categories –“General Employees” and “Police and Fire.”[1]. Below is a ranking of the highest average slaries grouped by employer type — led by Clarkstown’s 163 police and fire employees at an average salary of $179,689. Other tables available in the PDF highlight:

  • the 20 highest-paid county and municipal workers in the state – topped by Peter Brower, a police chief in the Town of Ramapo who collected more than $320,000; and
  • a regional breakdown of employee counts and average salaries.

screen-shot-2012-10-15-at-11_49_19-am-2289781

Information on individual public employee salaries can be found at the Empire Center’s transparency website, www.SeeThroughNY.net. The site includes a searchable database of 165,554[2] people who collected a total of more than $9 billion in pay from 1,509 city, county, town, and village governments outside New York City during the pension system fiscal year ending March 31, 2012.

Download the complete report “What They Make,” by clicking here.

Access the database on SeeThroughNY, by clicking here.

____________________________________________________________________

ENDNOTES

1. A category labeled “Special Districts,” including library and fire districts, exists on the SeeThroughNY.net database, but is not included in this report because the information provided by the comptroller does not easily allow for such categorization.
2. Please note that this number may count the same person multiple times if they are listed more than once in the data.

____________________________________________________________________

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

You may also like

Perverse Incentives, High Costs and Poor Outcomes

The state’s current and projected fiscal condition make this an appropriate time to examine what drives high special education spending in New York, how it’s serving children and how it can be improved. Read More

Benchmarking New York

New York State residents pay some of the highest local taxes in the nation. To help New Yorkers compare some of the basic fiscal measures for local governments, the Empire Center for Public Policy continues to calculate effective property tax rates and per-capita values for the spending, debt and tax levels of counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts throughout the state, excluding only New York City. Read More

Tax cap offers strongest shield to NY’s poorest school districts

Over the past seven years, New York’s cap on local property tax levies has generated billions of dollars in savings for homeowners and businesses, compared to previous trends. The cap has been especially effective in restraining school property taxes, which have long been the largest and fastest-growing component of New York’s tax burden. Read More

Benchmarking New York

Compare the taxes, spending and debt of local governments across New York State. Read More

What They Make 2017-18

Local government is a labor-intensive business, and employee compensation is the single biggest element of most municipal budgets. Read More

What They Make, 2014-15

Local government is a labor-intensive business, and employee compensation is the single biggest element of most municipal budgets. The 2014-15 edition of What They Make, the Empire Center’s annual report on public payrolls, allows New York taxpayers to compare this key element of local government costs around the state. Read More

Benchmarking New York

New York State residents pay some of the highest local taxes in the nation. Until now, however, New Yorkers have had no easy way to compare basic fiscal measures for the local governments that account for a large share of the taxes they pay. Read More

“Millionaire” income tax bracket growing more slowly in New York

The Empire State recently has fallen behind the national average when it comes to adding new income millionaires. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!