New York’s Ugly Stealth Tax Hikes by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Many New Yorkers who may consider themselves middle class will be paying higher effective marginal rates than billionaires under the "temporary" state and city income tax hikes recently approved by the State Legislature.

Tax Hike Gouges NYC Metro Region by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Households in the New York City metropolitan area will account for nearly 90 percent of the added state income taxes that New York State residents will pay to help finance spending increases in the 2003-04 state budget, assuming the Legislature overrides Governor Pataki's expected veto.

How To Save Another $1 Billion by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Instead of imposing higher taxes on an struggling economy, New York State legislators should be looking for more ways to save money in the $59 billion state funds budget Governor Pataki has proposed. Here's a by-no-means exhaustive list of eight cost-cutting steps that would add up to over $1 billion next year.

Bigger Gap, Smaller Cuts? by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Governor Pataki's 2003-04 budget proposal calls for smaller spending cuts than the budgets he proposed during his first two years in office—even though the current budget gap is more than twice as large.

What’s the Real Financial State of the Transit Authority? by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Just how big is the New York City Transit Authority's deficit? The answer to that question appears to be (a) not nearly as big as the NYCTA would have had everyone believe going into the TWU talks, but also (b) not nearly as big as it will be once the Authority gets through paying for the wage and benefit increases in the new transit workers contract—unless a fare increase is approved soon.

Transit Pact Has Big-Buck Implications for State and City by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

If the new transit workers deal is used as the “pattern” in the next round of collective bargaining with New York's public employee unions, the result would be $725 million in added labor costs for the state and $1.2 billion a year in added costs for the city, not including any offsetting productivity concessions.

Deja Vu All Over Again: The Right Way to Cure New York’s Looming Budget Gap | Reports

This report analyzes New York State government’s fiscal history over the last three and a half decades, with a particular focus on Governor Pataki’s accomplishments. It finds that fiscal crises are always preceded by periods of higher-than-normal spending, and that reducing spending is the only successful way to solve a crisis. Tax increases, such as those passed in the early 1970s and 1990s, exacerbate crises by reducing economic activity.

Will More Ever Be Enough? New York City’s Skyrocketing School Spending by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

New York City's new schools chancellor, Joel Klein, kicked off his introductory news conference with the observation that ‘resources are scarce.’ True enough—although you wouldn't know it from looking at the Board of Education's budget for 2002-03. Even after the latest round of budget cuts ordered by Mayor Bloomberg, spending will keep pace with inflation. And adjusting for cost-of-living changes, per-pupil expenditures are up 57 percent since 1983.