Big bucks, no impact by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

The billions of dollars funneled from New York's treasury to movie and TV producers had no statistically significant impact on the industry's employment in the Empire State through 2017, according to a new multi-state study of such tax incentives. [Read_more]

Feds reviewing Cuomo’s Fidelis deal by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Federal officials are reviewing the state's expropriation of $2 billion from the sale of Fidelis Care health plan, potentially throwing a wrench into the Cuomo administration's plans for using the money. [Read_more]

SALT suit swept aside by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

In what could rank among the least surprising federal court rulings of this or any year, a U.S. District Court judge in Manhattan has rejected New York's constitutional challenge to the state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap in the new federal tax law. [Read_more]

State agencies recruiting for unions by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

A few months before the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2018 landmark decision in Janus vs AFSCME, Governor Cuomo promised government unions the state would “do everything in its power” to “protect” them from potentially adverse consequences.

Flouting the clear intent of the court—and state law—Cuomo is keeping that promise. [Read_more]

A flawed Fed wage analysis by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have issued an analysis suggesting that New York's minimum wage increases from 2013 to 2018 had little impact on employment in counties bordering on Pennsylvania.

The Fed's economists compared employment in two low-wage sectors in the 19 contiguous border counties of New York and Pennsylvania—implicitly assuming that the counties as a group must be comparable because they are next to one another. [Read_more]

NYHA’s revenue roller coaster by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

A little-discussed hazard of creating a state-run single-payer health plan in New York would be its vulnerability to the business cycle. It would depend heavily on taxes collected from high-income New Yorkers, a source of revenue that's especially prone to booms and busts. A recession – or a downturn in the stock market – could easily open a budget hole not just in the billions of dollars, but in the tens of billions of dollars. [Read_more]

Trucking NY’s natural gas gap by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Yesterday’s fatal truck accident outside Binghamton is a reminder that state government’s opposition to natural gas pipelines is having negative consequences⁠—including putting more gas trucks on the road. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s polytech present for unions by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

The state subsidy package for a just-announced $1.5 billion chip fab plant outside Utica includes a sweet giveaway that will drive up the project price tag—at taxpayer expense—to give an edge to union contractors. [Read_more]

Albany’s probable PLA push by Ken Girardin |  | NY Torch

Following the Cuomo administration’s lead, at least two financially stressed local governments in the North Country have gone out of their way to steer expensive public works contracts to construction unions—despite higher costs. [Read_more]

NY’s uninsured rate hits new low by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Bucking the national trend, New York's uninsured rate dropped for the eighth consecutive year, new data from the Census Bureau show. The share of New Yorkers lacking health coverage in 2018 was 5.4 percent in 2018, down from 5.7 percent the year before. The number of people lacking health coverage dropped by about 72,000, to just over 1 million. Both the rate and the number are roughly half what they were in 2013, the year before the Affordable Care Act went into effect. [Read_more]

Losing by winning by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York State's tax collectors prevailed in a key administrative ruling last month—but in the long run, the state's taxpayers will probably be net losers as a result.

At issue here is the Empire State's effort to tax the investment income, dividends and capital gains earned in 2012 and 2013 by Nelson Obus, a hedge fund manager who during those years commuted regularly from his residence in New Jersey to his office in midtown Manhattan. [Read_more]
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