City Spending Accelerates by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

City-funded spending would increase almost 10 percent under New York's newly adopted budget for fiscal 2005. The budget's financing structure, which relies heavily on prior-year surplus and one-shot revenues, sets the stage for a looming shortfall in fiscal 2006.

The Legislature’s Spurious Budget Reform by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

A “budget reform” measure partially approved by the New York State Senate and Assembly is little more than a constitutional power grab by the Legislature and a prescription for higher spending.

The Cloud Behind the Silver Lining by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

The projected "out-year" gap in Mayor Bloomberg's proposed 2005 budget is the largest on record, leaving New York's finances extremely vulnerable to external shocks in the year ahead. City spending is now growing at an unsustainable pace; as a result, barring another boom on the late 1990s scale, Bloomberg could feel increasingly pressed to reduce spending as he approaches the next mayoral election.

NY State Government: Growing Beyond Its Means by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

New York State spending has outpaced inflation even as tax receipts plummeted since 2001. The state budget is on track to continue growing at twice the inflation rate over next several years—resulting in large projected future budget gaps, and raising the specter of expanded tax hikes."

CSEA Contract Will Cost Taxpayers Plenty by E.J. McMahon | | NY Torch

A tentative contract agreement between Governor George Pataki and New York’s largest union of state government workers would permanently add billions of dollars to New York State and New York City budgets, if it is ratified by union membership and ends up setting a pattern for the state’s other collective bargaining units.

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.

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.