Albany matchup: Medicaid vs. schools by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

With the state facing its grimmest budget outlook in years, the legislative session shows signs of becoming a tug-of-war between public schools and health care—the two biggest recipients of state spending and, not coincidentally, the two heaviest-hitting lobbying forces Albany. [Read_more]

The Senate GOP’s mixed bag on taxes by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

State Senate Republicans today issued a "Blueprint for a Stronger New York" that combines a few solid big-picture tax reduction priorities with more of the wasteful "tax relief" gimmickry that's become a standard feature of the Senate GOP tax policy agenda in recent years. [Read_more]

A tamper-prone drug ‘cap’ by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

An outside analysis of New York’s spending on prescription drugs for Medicaid recipients raises questions about how the Cuomo administration is enforcing a newly enacted cap on those costs. [Read_more]

Hunting for a new SALT shaker by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Now that the feds have limited the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for individuals, should New York's no-longer-fully-deductible personal income tax (PIT) be converted into an employer payroll tax? [Read_more]

The double-edged sword of prepayment by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

New York homeowners lining up to prepay property taxes in order to reduce their federal income taxes will also be in line for a temporary added cut in their 2017 state personal income tax. As a result, however, the prepayment phenomenon will also at least slightly erode the state government's already sagging income tax receipts in the current fiscal year—while making many of the same homeowners liable for at least a small tax hike in 2018.The rush to prepay local property taxes before the end of 2017, encouraged by Governor Cuomo in reaction to federal reform, will have some unintended consequences. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s Yuletide veto gifts by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

Governor Andrew Cuomo is ending the year on a strong pro-taxpayer note, vetoing union-backed legislation that would have blocked the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority from imposing pay freezes to balance the county budget. [Read_more]

How ACA mandate repeal affects NY by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

The demise of the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate” – which is due to be repealed as part of the GOP tax overhaul – may be less consequential in New York than in most other states. [Read_more]

Little for NY in latest fed tax twist by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

For the millionaire earners who generate an outsized share of New York State's income tax receipts, a possible congressional deal to trim the top tax rate in the final federal tax reform bill would take some of the sting out of losing the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.
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Hempstead’s lame-duck job freeze by Kenneth Girardin |  | NY Torch

The lame-duck supervisor of Hempstead, New York’s largest town, has inked the most indefensible no-layoff deal in Long Island’s history of open-handed labor relations—guaranteeing union jobs while asking for nothing in return. [Read_more]

Cuomo’s Essential dilemma by Bill Hammond |  | NY Torch

Federal officials have reportedly confirmed that they are cutting off a major portion of funding for New York’s Essential Plan, opening a roughly $1 billion hole in the state budget and raising new doubts about the future of a rapidly growing health insurance option for the working poor. [Read_more]