Testimony

Testimony on Local Government Fiscal Distress by E.J. McMahon |  | Testimony

The Great Recession and its aftermath have brought obvious, ongoing strains to finances at every level of government. What we have been experiencing for the past five years is something new and unprecedented in the post-World War II era: a prolonged period of slow growth with pronounced disinflationary tendencies. [Read_more]

Senate Testimony on State Tax Reform by E.J. McMahon |  | Testimony

This committee has chosen an opportune moment to review New York’s state tax code and consider reform options. Wall Street, the state’s cash cow for 20 years, is now retrenching. And in an era of slower economic growth, many businesses will be less willing to shoulder costs they can avoid by moving elsewhere. Needless to say, by various measures, most states can offer a lower-cost environment than New York. [Read_more]

Testimony: Managing the SSI State Suplement by Russell Sykes |  | Testimony

This testimony discusses one key proposal of the Governor’s Human Service Budget – managing the SSI State Supplement. As part of his SFY 2012-13 Executive Budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo has included a long overdue initiative for the state to take over the administration of New York’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) state supplemental payment from the federal Social Security Administration. [Read_more]

Testimony: Tier 6 Pension by E.J. McMahon |  | Testimony

As part of his 2012-13 budget legislation, Governor Cuomo has proposed the most significant and potentially far-reaching reform of New York public pensions in at least 36 years. While the governor’s plan is far from being an ideal solution to the problem of exploding pension costs and long-term liabilities, it includes some significant steps in the right direction, which are worthy of serious consideration and support. [Read_more]

Testimony: Property Tax Cap by E.J. McMahon |  | Testimony

New York’s local property tax levels are exceptionally high by national standards and have grown by more than double the inflation rate over the past decade, justifying the governor’s push to limit future growth. [Read_more]

Testimony: Mandate Relief by E.J. McMahon |  | Testimony

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]

Testimony: FY2011 New York State Budget by E.J. McMahon |  | Testimony

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]

Testimony: State Tax Policy in 2010-11 by E.J. McMahon |  | Testimony

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]

Testimony: Budget Reform by E.J. McMahon |  | Testimony

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]

Testimony: Government Transparency by Lise Bang-Jensen |  | Testimony

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]