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Letter Pensions & Benefits
May 29, 2009This letter from the CBC urges the Governor to veto A3426/S1409, a bill that would extend Tier II provisions to all police officers and firefighters who join a public retirement system on or after July 1, 2009 to July 1, 2011.
Letter Pensions & Benefits
May 12, 2009This letter from the CBC urges the Governor to veto A4628, a bill that would renew the provision that prohibits school districts from reducing the health insurance benefits offered to retirees unless the changes are approved by the local teachers union.
May 05, 2009This letter from the CBC and other advocates outlines a plan to finance the long-term capital needs of the MTA and its immediate operating deficit. The mobility tax should be used for expenses related to the MTA's capital plan, not for operating expenses after the first year.
Report State Budget
April 30, 2009The CBC reviews and assesses the 9 bills that comprise the FY 2009-10 New York State Budget. The key points of this assessment include: 1) Spending remains high and few cuts were achieved; 2) no concessions were agreed to by public employee unions; 3) Large tax and fee increases help support the enlarged spending; 4) Temporary federal stimulus aid is relied upon to sustain recurring spending commitments, creating a risk of large future budget gaps; and 5) a few positive steps were taken to reduce wasteful or poorly targeted programs.
April 11, 2009CBC submits this written testimony to the City Council joint Education and Contracts Committee hearing on oversight of the Department of Education's contracting and procurement process; CBC has two recommendations to increase accountability and transparency with regard to all of DOE’s fiscal operations, including contracting and procurement.
Report Pensions & Benefits
April 06, 2009In recent years, one of the fastest growing expenses for New York City government has been retirement benefits for municipal workers. This growth is driven mainly by investment losses in the pension funds and the enrichment of retirement benefits. As New York taxpayers have a critical interest in understanding the reasons behind the explosion in retirement benefit costs and what can be done to limit future liabilities, this report summarizes 10 facts about retirement benefits for New York employees.
March 12, 2009This testimony emphasizes two key points about New York’s personal income tax (PIT) and offers a framework for thinking about tax reform in the current fiscal context: 1) New York’s PIT is progressive, but its overall tax structure is not; and 2) New York’s economic competitiveness should be an important factor in considering changes to its tax rates.
Testimony State Budget
February 27, 2009This testimony by CBC Deputy Research Director Elizabeth Lynam highlights CBC’s work on fiscal reform and shares thoughts and recommendations on the work of the Senate Temporary Committee on Rules and Administration Reform.
Letter State Budget
February 25, 2009This letter to the Legislature warns that the federal aid to New York is limited and temporary, suggests ten do’s and don’ts for using the federal funds and closing the budget gap while avoiding harmful cuts and tax increases, and highlights possible allocation of the funds.
Letter Economic Development
February 11, 2009This letter to the State Legislature, written in conjunction with the NYS AFL-CIO, the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York and the Partnership for New York City, is in support of Governor David Paterson's proposal to scale back the almost $600 million-a-year Empire Zone Program.
Letter State Budget
February 02, 2009This letter to the state legislature suggests two strategic directions to guide budget policy and offers a roadmap that avoids harmful tax increases and makes spending better serve New Yorkers by suggesting reforms in five key areas: Medicaid, school aid, correctional facilities, public employee benefits, and programs like STAR and Empire Zones.
January 28, 2009In this letter CBC agrees, for the most part, with a report released by the Commission on Metropolitan Transportation Authority Financing but offers suggestions for improvement. Specifically, CBC supports legislation to implement the Commission’s core recommendations (with revision), which are highlighted in the testimony.
Report Pensions & Benefits
January 08, 2009In fiscal year 2008, the average compensation cost per New York City full-time employee was $106,743; this figure represents a system out of sync with the private sector and an opportunity to limit the growth of the City’s liability in the future while continuing to provide fair and adequate compensation to the City’s employees. Three factors that have driven the growth in compensation among City employees are: 1) Pay increases are directly attributable to contract settlements with unions; 2) More generous terms of the health insurance benefits offered by the City, as compared to the private sector and other state and local governments; and 3) The benefit retirement plans offered by the City that lock in the City’s future payouts to retirees based on the employee’s pay, years of employment and age at retirement among other factors. CBC offers three recommendations in response to these factors.
Testimony Capital Spending
January 07, 2009The testimony offers guidelines for the application of public-private partnerships (PPPs or P3s), suggests areas in which PPPs can be used in New York, and warns against and explains potential pitfalls in the application of PPPs.
Report Capital Spending
December 11, 2008This report explores the application of public-private partnership (PPPs) in New York by explaining its definition of such a relationship and offering in-depth guidelines, potential applications (including highway bridges, New York City school buildings, New York City parks, and higher education facilities), examples on a global, national, and local level, and potential missteps and cautions.
Video Capital Spending
December 11, 2008Panel discussion from CBC's event on public-private partnerships, also knowns as PPPs or P3s.
Report Health Care
December 09, 2008New York’s Medicaid program is the most expensive in the nation, projected to cost $45 billion in fiscal year 2008-09 and to consume nearly one-third of the New York State budget. New York State can provide needy residents with better nursing home care and save about $1.2 billion annually in fiscal year 2008-2009 by changing the way its Medicaid program pays nursing homes. This report explains why the current system is wasteful, perpetuating inefficiencies and inequities without assuring high quality care, and how a better payment system might work.
Report Economic Development
December 02, 2008The Economic Development Zone program has become a vehicle for giving tax breaks to a variety of corporations with no clear, consistent, verifiable justification for the public investment. This report describes the benefits enjoyed by participating firms and how those benefits are distributed among economic regions of the State and types of firms; identifies and elaborates on the three serious problems that compromise the program’s efficacy; and asserts that the Empire Zone program cannot be fixed, citing past failures to do so, and should end.
Letter City Budget
April 29, 2008Any deferral from meeting GASB 49 standards on pollution remediation should be limited to one year.
February 04, 2008CBC recently looked at the option of expanding New York’s existing circuit breaker program to provide targeted relief to the neediest taxpayers as background for a forum on local tax relief convened on December 6, 2007. Based on that review of options the following points, outlined in this report, can be highlighted: 1) Circuit breakers are common; 2) New York’s circuit breaker needs reform; and 3) The poorly crafted School Tax Relief Program (STAR) would work better as a circuit breaker.