What's the [DATA] Point?

What's the [DATA] Point? is a podcast by Citizens Budget Commission and Gotham Gazette on New York State and City policies.


It's hosted by Ben Max, Executive Editor of Gotham Gazette, and Maria Doulis, Vice President of the Citizens Budget Commission, and produced by Kevin Medina and William J. Rice.


Stream below or download on your phone via iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.



Episode 25 - 374

January 08, 2018
374 is the number of pages in Governor Cuomo's State of the State policy book. Laura Nahmias of Politico NY joins the podcast to discuss what the new year has in store for State and City politics.

Episode 24 - 2.7%

December 20, 2017
2.7% is the economic growth forecast for 2018 in the Port Authority’s 17-county region, which encompasses more than 200 municipalities. The Port Authority's Chief Economist Alex Heil joined WT[D]P to discuss the economic and transportation trends that impact the Port's bottom line.

Episode 23 - 1996

December 14, 2017
1996 is the last time a comprehensive regional plan was issued by the Regional Plan Association. Special guest Chris Jones, Senior Vice President and Chief Planner at RPA, joined the podcast to discuss the 4th Regional Plan, which was released last month. The plan contains 61 separate recommendations in four action areas that represent major challenges and areas of opportunity.

Episode 22 - 10 years

December 06, 2017
10 years is the amount of time the de Blasio administration says it will take to shut down Rikers Island.

Special guest Michael Jacobson is the executive director of the CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance. He was once the City's Correction Commissioner as well as the Probation Commissioner.  He is a member of the Lippman Commission, convened by the City Council to solve the crisis at Rikers. Michael joined the podcast to discuss the Commission's findings--namely to close Rikers and move the inmates to facilities near courthouses and civic centers throughout the boroughs.

Episode 21 - $26 billion

November 30, 2017
$26 billion is the amount of property taxes the City will collect this fiscal year-- it is the largest single source of revenue that funds NYC government. Special guest Martha Stark is a former Commissioner of the Department of Finance. She joined the podcast to discuss the complexities of the system for valuing and taxing real property and explained why reform is badly needed.

Episode 20 - 44 days

November 16, 2017
44 is the number of days left in term-limited Council Member Daniel Garodnick's tenure. Council Member Garodnick has been a voice of reason in the City Council, having raised important questions about the city budget, economic development, and contracts. He chairs the City Council's Committee on Economic Development, is on the budget negotiating team, and in his final months has been fighting to pass reform of the commercial rent tax.

Episode 19 - $67 Billion

November 09, 2017
$67 billion is the amount of state and local taxes New York State residents deduct from their federal tax returns each year. Known as SALT, this deduction is the topic of intense debate in Washington. Congressional leadership proposes to eliminate or cap SALT in order to offset the cost of corporate and other tax cuts.

Special guest Jay Kriegel, Senior Advisor at Related Companies, is a New York communications and strategic advisor who has been involved in a number of major New York political and policy initiatives. In 1986, Jay led a national coalition that thwarted an attempt to eliminate the SALT deduction, and today he has taken a leadership role in the coalition to protect it.

Episode 18 - 348 and 74

November 02, 2017
The data points are 348 and 74.

348 is the number of Local Development Corporations and Industrial Development Agencies in NYS. These corporations made $16.2 billion in economic development investments from 2011 through 2015, yet only 5 of the state's 62 counties have had job growth higher than the national average. For this half of the podcast WTDP is joined by CBC Research Associate, Riley Edwards, author of the recent report: "Opaque and Duplicative - Local Economic Development in New York State."

74 is the number of Business Improvement Districts in NYC. CBC's report "BIDS - Organization, Oversight, and Transparency" describes the history and nature of these organizations, what services they provide, and whether property owners are getting their money's worth. WTDP is joined by CBC's Director of Research, Tim Sullivan, to explain.