“Less profit, less profit, less profit” by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo is blaming the profit motive for employer resistance to raising New York's statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Even some notable liberal economists who generally favor a higher federal minimum wage are not in favor of going up as far as $15, as the Manhattan Institute's Alex Armlovich pointed out in this Daily News op-ed over the weekend.

Yet the governor, so far, has yet to acknowledge any possible tradeoffs from a policy that would make it much more expensive for employers to hire unskilled or less skilled entry-level workers.

EPA’s double standard at work in NY by Kenneth Girardin | | NY Torch

If a huge private corporation with billions of dollars in revenues at its disposal was caught discharging a “probable human carcinogen” into a rural upstate New York creek, it would immediately be branded in some circles as environmental public enemy number-one.

But the federal government’s own Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is quite deliberately doing exactly the same thing—on purpose—in the Rensselaer County town of Nassau.

NY leans on a volatile Wall Street by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The stock market turmoil of the last week is a reminder of why it's risky, verging on foolhardy, for New York's state government to depend as heavily as it does on high-income households and Wall Street investors.

In the current fiscal year, taxes paid by the highest-earning 1 percent of New York taxpayers—including commuters to jobs in the state—are expected to generate 43 percent of personal income tax receipts, which in turn translates into 27 percent of total state taxes.

A flat Q1 for NY Pension Fund by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

On the heels of a sub-par fiscal year, New York State's largest public pension fund has just reported another weak quarter for investment returns.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli today said the Common Retirement Fund (CRF), of which he is sole trustee, had gained just 0.52 percent during the three months ending June 30, the first quarter of the fund's 2015-16 fiscal year. The CRF finances pension benefits for nearly all non-New York City state and local government retirees, other than educational professionals.

Ranking NY state’s financial status by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The Mercatus Center at Virginia's George Mason University is out with a 50-state ranking that says New York State's "overall fiscal solvency" is among the worst in the nation.

The new study suggests that New York's state government finances fall into the "poor" category—ranking 46th, or roughly about as messed up as those of New Jersey (49) and Illinois (50).

Another phony property tax “cut” by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York's legislative majority members would have you believe they have just reached an end-of-session agreement to "cut" your property taxes. Again.

Don't believe them. Again.

Tax cap sausage still in grinder? by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Based on initial descriptions, the delayed end-of-session "big ugly" package deal announced Tuesday afternoon by Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders is simply confounding on the subject of property taxes.

Although Cuomo and Senate Republicans both said they wanted to make the state's 2 percent property tax cap permanent, the cap apparently will be extended only temporarily.

NY job growth still trails US by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Private-sector job growth in New York continued to trail the U.S. average on a year-to-year basis during the 12 months ending in May, according to the monthly state jobs report from the state Labor Department.

NY inching up towards $20k per pupil by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

Spending by New York State's public schools averaged $19,818 per pupil in 2012-13 — once again topping the nation — according to new data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The gap between school spending in New York and the U.S. average continued to get wider in 2012-13—reaching 85 percent, up from 63 percent in 2005-06.
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