Noting that New Yorkers had been treated last week to “almost daily political perp walks” involving “a parade of office-holders,” an editorial in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal pointed out: “The bigger scandal in the Empire State continues to be what the politicians do that’s legal.”
Defending the new state budget’s three-year “millionaire’s tax” extension in a Newsday op-ed today, Governor Cuomo writes: “The extension doesn’t take place until 2015, the year our financial projections show a $5-billion budget gap. By extending this tax, which generates $2 billion, the state addresses the future gap.”
Huh? Where did that “$5 billion budget gap” come from?
Governor Cuomo today marked Sunshine Week by launching Open New York, a really cool portal for finding government data online — without having to file a Freedom of Information Law request. The site launched with 267 data sets populating it. That’s a respectable number, but a fraction of what could eventually be on the site.
In addition to being a home for state agency data (which will eventually be required based on an as-yet unreleased executive order), the new repository also is a shared resource for localities across the state, providing a place for those entities that choose to post data [read: encourage your local governments and school districts to start posting data ASAP]. In fact, Suffolk County has already posted spreadsheets of budget revenue and expenditures, including back years of data. (more…)
Based on their just-introduced one-house budget, Assembly Democrats don’t support Governor Cuomo’s proposal to eliminate all required reports by local governments and school districts to state agencies. From a transparency and accountability standpoint, that’s good news for taxpayers and the general public, as explained here.
Much less positively, in the same Article 7 budget bill, Assembly Democrats go along with the governor’s proposal to raid the State Insurance Fund (SIF) for $1.75 billion, which I criticize in this New York Post op-ed today.
Unlike state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who says he’s still thinking it over, one upstate local official has already concluded that Governor Cuomo’s local government pension smoothing proposal would be a bad deal. (more…)
Governor Cuomo’s proposed state budget for fiscal 2014 envisions a relatively strong 6.6 percent ($2.6 billion) increase in net personal income tax (PIT) receipts for the year starting April 1, even though the tax so far has under-performed the original budget projections for fiscal 2013. The highest-earning one percent of New York taxpayers is expected to generate 41 percent of net receipts, according to the Economic and Revenue Outlook volume of the budget (see p. 208).
The chart below shows the estimated and projected five-year trend in the PIT, which is by far the state’s largest tax source. For more fiscal plan details both the receipts and disbursements side, see the Empire Center’s new Explore the State Budget online app.
Governor Cuomo* is running TV commercials declaring that his proposed 2013-14 budget features no new taxes — a claim also widely reflected in most news media coverage of the budget.
It’s not quite true, however. Compared to what is now written into permanent state law, Cuomo’s budget would, in fact, raise $325 million more next year, and $2.2 billion over the next four years, by extending a pair of almost new taxes — temporary measures, first enacted in 2009, that were supposed to expire by the end of the next fiscal year.
A sweeping but little-noticed provision in Governor Cuomo’s 2013-14 Executive Budget would, in the words of this Article VII bill memo, “eliminate all local government and school district reporting requirements to state agencies unless the Mandate Relief Council votes to continue them.”
Three years ago, a bill that would have forced landlords throughout New York State to accept recipients of federal Section 8 rent vouchers was vetoed by then-Governor David Paterson on the grounds that it would have placed an onerous regulatory burden on landlords and cost the state millions to enforce. However, in his State of the State message last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo indicated he’ll revive the idea as part of his own legislative program.
The latest wrinkles in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s green energy policy, as outlined yesterday in his third State of the State message, include a “cabinet level energy czar” recruited from the Obama administration.
Richard Kauffman, most recently a senior adviser to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, will head what the SoS described as a “newly formed energy subcabinet,” with immediate responsibility for developing a NY Green Bank, seeded by $1 billion in funds already collected from energy ratepayers, to “leverage public dollars with a private-sector match to spur the clean economy … unleashing green technologies and the many benefits that will come with them.“
No word on whether the new czar will relocate to Petersburg.