The Empire Center for Public Policy today released the 2014 edition of “What They Make,” an overview of local government payrolls (outside New York City) for the period of April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.
The Center’s analysis of the Mid-Hudson Region (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties) revealed that Westchester County general (non-police) employees were the highest-paid county employees in the state, averaging $76,652. Westchester county police were paid an average of $184,865, making them the highest-paid employees in the region and the highest-paid county police in the state. The data also show that Ramapo was the highest-paying town for both general employees and police in the entire state; their average pay was $72,264 and $164,847, respectively.
The following table shows the five highest-paying employers in the Mid-Hudson Region for general employees and police or firefighters:
The amounts listed in the report do not include fringe benefits such as health insurance or pension contributions, which can add more than 35 percent to the cost for taxpayers.
“Police and firefighter pay has increased at three times the rate of other public-sector pay,” said Executive Director Tim Hoefer. “This is the result of antiquated policies and laws that discourage fair negotiations between public employers and unions and necessitate further tax increases on already-burdened homeowners and businesses.”
“The Empire Center produces this report because it is committed to protecting the right of taxpayers to know how their money is being spent,” said Hoefer. “Employee compensation is the single largest component of most municipal budgets. Pairing this pay data with the localized spending data in SeeThroughNY’s Benchmarking NY tool, taxpayers can get a real sense of how their local governments are spending their tax dollars.”
The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, 501(c)3 think tank based in Albany. Each year, the Empire Center obtains and processes payroll information from public employers across the state. Click here to read the full report. The Benchmarking New York tool, as well as individual payroll records, are posted at the Empire Center’s transparency website SeeThroughNY.net.