The combined state and local tax burden on New York residents in 2010, the year before Governor Andrew Cuomo took office, reached its highest level since 1994, the last year his father held the same office, as measured by data released today by the Tax Foundation...
“The first casualty of war is always the truth,” Winston Churchill observed. The same might be said of political battles. Around New York in this campaign season, incumbent state legislators in both parties have been bending facts into pretzels when they discuss their recent records on state taxes, in particular.
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.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has jumped on the bandwagon in favor of raising New York City’s top resident income tax rate — just a day after two undeclared 2013 mayoral candidates, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and then-City Comptroller William Thompson stepped (somewhat gingerly) off it.
New York ranks 50th — meaning “worst” — in the Tax Foundation’s 2013 State Business Tax Index, released today. The Empire State’s ranking tumbled back to last place after climbing all the way up to number 48 in the 2011 Index.
Federal Medicaid reimbursements to New York State could be cut by $1 billion a year to make up for more than two decades of excessive claims that one congressman compared to “fraud.”
State Sen. Tom Libous of Binghamton, deputy leader of the Republican majority in the Legislature’s upper house, has been running a campaign commercial that takes credit for working with Governor Andrew Cuomo to enact, among other things, “the largest middle-class tax cut in 58 years.”
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.
New York’s economy would be hit especially hard by Washington’s potential “Taxmageddon” — the scheduled end-of-year expiration of the Bush income tax cuts and of a temporary “patch” that prevents the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) from hitting more middle-class taxpayers, according to a just-posted analysis from the Tax Foundation.
In a classic end-of-session rush job, the Assembly and Senate last week passed a bill that will make it easier to sue New York State’s local governments.
The Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) litigation of 1993-2006 established the principle that New York State is constitutionally obligated to ensure funding of a “sound, basic education” for pupils in New York City schools. Today, the state’s highest court cleared the way for a lawsuit claiming that funding levels for about a dozen of New York’s small city school districts doesn’t meet that requirement.
How does Governor Cuomo intend to pay for a new Tappan Zee Bridge? Nicole Gelinas explores that question in an op-ed in today’s New York Post. Taking a closer look at cross-Hudson traffic trends, she suggests that higher bridge tolls alone aren’t unlikely to cover it.