The Giant Slice: Legacy Costs in the New York City Budget (UPDATED)

May 10, 2013
An alarming and little known fact is that a large slice of the New York City budgetary pie does not directly support current service provision. This giant slice, dedicated to “legacy costs,” will claim almost 25 percent of the budget by fiscal year 2015 – leaving fewer dollars for other budget priorities.

The Back-loaded Impact of New York’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget

May 09, 2013

Over the weekend the State Division of the Budget released the financial plan report accompanying the enacted fiscal year 2014 budget. The financial plan includes details of the budget for the current fiscal year and its implications for the next three fiscal years through March 31, 2017. The report tells a troubling story.

Reining in New York City's Skyrocketing Health Insurance Costs

Apr 18, 2013

The growing cost of health insurance for city employees and retirees has to be brought under control. The City's employee unions, whose contracts have expired, may prefer to wait and negotiate with the next mayor, but the election won't change the fiscal reality: the City's share of health insurance premiums for city workers and retirees is high in comparison to norms in the private and public sectors.

Little Noticed but Significant: The Sound Recommendations of the SAGE Commission

Apr 16, 2013
On February 12th the Spending and Government Efficiency Commission, or “SAGE” Commission, submitted its final report to Governor Andrew Cuomo. With most state leaders and observers focused on budget negotiations, this comprehensive report on streamlining and modernizing State government was largely overlooked. But it deserves attention, and its many worthwhile recommendations should be implemented.

Generous Helpings of School Aid Exceed the Cap and Benefit All Districts

Apr 04, 2013
The allocation of school aid in New York State’s recently adopted budget for fiscal year 2013-14 has two key features:
  • It exceeds the “cap” tied to personal income growth set for school aid in the last two budgets; aid may grow 5.3%
  • It distributes the funds in a poorly targeted manner, giving increases to wealthy districts as well as needier communities.

A Big Aid Increase for Schools

Mar 27, 2013
Last night the state aid allocations for school districts were released just in time for the State Senate to vote on the budget. The final agreement allocates $20.8 billion, approximately $7,700 per student, in formula-based school aid for school year 2014. This represents an increase of $937 million, or 4.7%, over school year 2013.

A Disappointing Tax Deal

Mar 21, 2013
New York is on track to pass an on-time budget that appears to limit state-funded spending to 2% growth for the 3rd consecutive year. That is good news for New Yorkers. However, while the details are still emerging, one proposal is particularly disappointing.
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