New York’s property tax levy cap makes it more important than ever for local governments and school districts to bring their long-term spending into line with long-term revenues. But most localities don’t issue budget forecasts that look further than a year ahead —making it it easier to put off tough decisions. Read More
New York State has embarked on an ambitious multi-year effort to overhaul its taxpayer-funded Medicaid program, which has long combined high costs with less than impressive health outcomes. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “redesign” of Medicaid will be heavily focused on “complex, high-cost populations” – the roughly one million Medicaid recipients with long-term disabilities and chronic health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, substance abuse and mental illness. Read More
Local 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. Read More
New York taxpayers spend billions of dollars a year on health insurance coverage for retired state and local government employees, many of whom are too young to be eligible for Medicare. But the mounting “pay-as-you-go” bill for retiree healthcare is just the tip of a much larger iceberg. Read More
Located some 40 miles north of New York City, in Westchester County, the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) consists of two operating nuclear reactors, with a combined generating capacity of over 2,000 MW, and one long-retired reactor. IPEC’s size and location are the key factors in both the power it provides and the decades-long fight to shutter the plant permanently. Read More
The movement of people in and out of New York over the past two decades, including the combined effects of foreign immigration and domestic migration, has produced significant changes in the Empire State’s age profile. Read More
Low-income working families in New York State receive a significant annual wage supplement through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is available to eligible filers of federal, state and New York City income tax returns. Read More
Opponents of the proposed Tier 6 pension reform like to point out that the average annual benefit paid by the state pension system in 2011 was $19,151 — “not a big amount for someone whose [sic] gave a lifetime of service,” as the Public Employees Federation (PEF) puts it in a letter and blast fax to state legislators. Read More
Traditional public employee pension programs in New York State have become unaffordable for taxpayers—while denying workers the ability to choose more flexible approaches to retirement planning. Read More
In the wake of the nation’s worst economic downturn since the 1930s, New York State’s counties, municipalities and school districts face intense budgetary pressure. To bring spending into line with tightly constrained revenues, especially under a newly imposed property tax cap, local governments need more than ever to control rising employee salary and benefit costs. Read More
On Dec. 6, 2011, Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a deal to extend New York's biggest income tax increase in 50 years, targeting earners of $1 million and more for what will be the third highest income tax rate imposed by any major state. Read More
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