I want to begin today by commending the state Senate for its passage last month of Governor Cuomo’s property tax cap bill. In years to come, the Jan. 31 vote may be seen as a turning point, a historic first step towards lasting relief for New York’s taxpayers. [Read_more]
Governor Cuomo’s 2011-12 Executive Budget does not call for any significant state tax increases. The thrust of my testimony today is that the Legislature should not attempt to add tax increases to this budget—and should start actively working on a more competitive and growth-oriented tax policy for the future. [Read_more]
Let me begin by reminding everyone that the 2009-10 state budget included tax and fee increases that were initially valued at $6.1 billion, or 7.4 percent of total state fund revenues. This was the largest tax and fee increase in New York State’s history. [Read_more]
New York’s 80-year-old Executive Budget law, rooted in Article VII of the state Constitution, has stood the test of time in many respects. But some glaring holes in the law have become more and more evident over the past couple of decades. As a result, the severity of New York State’s latest fiscal crisis has been compounded by a lack of budgetary discipline, transparency and accountability. [Read_more]
As a former journalist and now as analyst for the Empire Center for Public Policy, I am pleased the Senate is considering a package of bills to expand the Freedom of Information Law and the Open Meeting Law. [Read_more]
Economic conditions have obvious implications for the work of this Committee and for the Legislature in general. We are in the midst of a potentially severe and long-lasting global recession. But for New York State, the recession is only part of the problem.
Fueled by the super-heated profits of the securities industry, mixed with gains from a now-popped real estate bubble, the surge in state tax revenues over the past five years was as big as anything New York has experienced during any previous five-year stretch in the last 35 years. [Read_more]