So much for any tax savings!

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

The Fiscal Year 2018 State Budget includes a mandate known as the Countywide Shared Services Initiative (CWSSI) plan. As explained by the governor in May, it requires the leaders of sixty-two cities, fifty-seven counties, 932 towns, 545 villages, 632 school districts and about 70 independent school districts to identify shared opportunities that will yield taxpayer savings. More than a gentle …

From the desk of E.J. McMahon – Empire Center.org

In From the Desk Of by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Governor Cuomo’s Division of the Budget (DOB) has just issued a Mid-Year Financial update The update reduces revenue projections by $850 million this year, and by another $850 million in each of the next two years, mostly as a result of an estimated $750 million drop in annual personal income tax receipts. As a result, the projected fiscal 2019 budget gap …

What They Make

In Other Resources by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Reported by The Empire Center for Public Policy Inc. an independent, non-profit think tank.  County and Municipal Payrolls in New York State As of August 2017 Introduction: Local government is a labor-intensive business, and employee compensation is the single biggest element of most municipal budgets. The 2016-17 edition of What They Make, the Empire Center’s annual report on public payrolls, …

We voted

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Two days’ before Election Day, I used my web page to encourage a vote in favor of Ballot Proposal # 1. If approved, through the establishment of a properly managed convention, serious debate would have been possible to amend some critical aspects of state constitution that are begging for attention. Unfortunately, give or take a few souls, 2,711,000 (out of …

Summary of Audit completed by the Authorities Budget Office 10/23/17

In Audit Findings by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Subject: Status of IDA Completed Projects Purpose:              To determine the status of the projects after financial assistance ended and whether the projects achieved the expected results for the assistance granted by IDAs include low interest tax-exempt or taxable bonds, mortgage recording tax exemptions, sales tax exemptions, and real property tax exemptions. Scope:                  403 projects were reported as completed …

Providing a wake-up call to policy makers

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Retiree Benefits Face a Crunch Starting in fiscal year 2018, new widely followed Governmental Accounting Standards Board principles will urge officials to record all health-care liabilities on their balance sheets instead of pushing a portion of debt to footnotes. This change will highlight that U.S. states as a group have promised hundreds of billions more in retiree health benefits than …

You’re November 7th vote

In From the Desk Of by Hal Peterson0 Comments

In a few days’ we will be asked to consider amending the New York State Constitution. Short of a miracle, it is not likely to happen. Why? A short list. One, media emphasis has been lacking and most individuals are unware of it even being a ballot issue, possibly minimizing support. Two, opponents i.e. organized labor groups’ across the board, …

When you vote in November

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

When you vote in November The above photo shows on the left the faces of some 25 elected New York state officials sentenced to prison or house arrest since 2003. On the lower right, former Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver leaving court after being sentenced to 12 years in prison. The young man (upper right) is State Senator Robert …

Constitutional Conventions: A Political Boondoggle?

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Back on July 20th, the LI Herald published a column titled “A convention could be good for New York – or not.” It raised the following point i.e. “you would think that holding a convention to review and rewrite the New York State Constitution would be a no-brainer.” It is obviously not. Our Constitution, one of the longest and most …

Barking up the wrong tree

In Columns by Hal Peterson0 Comments

Each week, The Herald, a Long Island community newspaper publishes a column written by former state senator Alfonse D’Amato. The following caught my attention. “Our economy: If it’s gonna break, don’t wait to fix it.” Why, he considers Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. electric car company an overvalued unsustainable money losing operation; and, his “Solar City” venture in Buffalo an aberration …