Governor Spitzer’s proposed $120.6 billion budget called for state-funded spending growth of 7.8 percent — three times the rate of inflation — while raising business taxes by roughly a half-billion dollars. The budget also included a significant expansion of state-subsidized school property tax breaks for homeowners, to be phased in over three years.
New York’s state legislators have a long history of lavish pork-barrel spending. Much of this spending comes in the form of appropriations known as “member items” — operating grants to local community groups, labor unions and advocacy organizations. But while individual senators and Assembly members are willing to selectively publicize the nature and purpose of their own pet projects, the Legislature as a whole has tried to keep much of the budgeting process for the member items under wraps.
Governor Spitzer’s 2007-08 Executive Budget calls for a series of Medicaid cost-containment measures, including a freeze on hospital and nursing-home reimbursement rates. These steps are appropriate and justifiable-but they only scratch at the surface of the problem.
Eliot Spitzer’s first year as governor of New York has seen the state workforce grow to its highest level since Mario Cuomo’s last year as governor, according to payroll data from the state Comptroller’s Office.
Governor Spitzer's first Executive Budget would raise state spending by up to three times the projected rate of inflation in the fiscal year that begins April 1.
News coverage of Gov. Eliot Spitzer's first State of the State message invariably highlighted his proposal for what has been widely billed as a $6 billion property tax reduction. . .
Nearly a quarter-million people left New York for other states in the past year, continuing a long-term trend in which the Empire State has been a leading demographic loser.
Employment and wage trends in New York State since the beginning of this decade could be described as a tale of two sectors: public and private.
New York City's current budget is an object lesson in why too much money is just as serious a problem as too little. New York ended the last fiscal year with $3.8 billion more than it expected to spend. . . but while taxpayers historically have borne tax-rate hikes to fund the city's predictable cyclical deficits, they will not see tax cuts due to the current record surplus, unless Mayor Bloomberg takes advantage of this temporary boom time. . .
New York's newly adopted city budget for fiscal 2006 calls for a 7.5 percent spending increase, well above the rate of inflation or growth in the city's economy. Under the four municipal budgets adopted since Michael Bloomberg became mayor in 2002, city spending has risen at more than twice the inflation rate. Relative to New Yorkers' personal income, city operating expenditures in the year ahead will be significantly higher than the average during Rudolph Giuliani's tenure in the mayor's office.
Seemingly oblivious to the already high and rising cost of taxpayer-funded public pensions in New York, state lawmakers this year passed at least 36 measures that would expand pension benefits for groups of public workers.
This study shows how greater fairness for New York taxpayers and competitive retirement benefits for government employees can be achieved by switching from the current defined benefit (DB) pension plan to the savings-based defined contribution (DC) model used by the vast majority of private companies.