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 has calculated effective property tax rates and per-capita values for the spending, debt and tax levels of counties, cities, town and villages throughout the state, excluding only New York City. Read More
Retired New York state and local government employees under the age of 65 cannot collect full public pension benefits if they earn more than $30,000 by returning to work for a state or local agency – but the earnings limit for younger retirees collecting both pensions and pay from government can be waived “temporarily” in certain circumstances. Read More
Eighty-five percent of the websites for New York’s 500 largest counties, municipalities and school districts failed to earn a passing grade in the Empire Center’s first annual SeeThroughNY Website Report Card Read More
Local government is a labor-intensive business, and employee compensation is the single biggest element of most municipal budgets. The 2013-14 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
A challenging fiscal environment and notoriously high property taxes have raised structural and service issues to new levels as communities explore the potential efficiencies to be gained through shared services, dissolution and consolidation. Read More
The full extent of the continuing rise in school spending since the recession was not inevitable or unavoidable. It was the result of (a) increasing teacher compensation costs driven largely by automatic pay raises, and (b) continued relatively high levels of staffing, relative to enrollment, especially in non-teaching titles. Read More
New York’s imminent fall from third to fourth most populous state can be attributed mainly to its heavy loss of residents to the rest of the country—a trend persisting in this decade, according to the latest Census data. Read More
Major residential, commercial and industrial developments throughout the country are subject to an array of federal and state laws designed to protect the environment, buttressed nearly everywhere by local land-use regulations addressing the community impacts of such projects. Read More
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