An Overview of Job Quality and Discretionary Economic Development Subsidies in New York City

May 28, 2010. This brief from FPI together with Good Jobs New York and the National Employment Law Project examines the low wages typically paid for many of the permanent jobs at city-subsidized economic development projects such as Bronx Gateway Mall, Fresh Direct and Yankee Stadium.

New York Shouldn’t Look to Massachusetts as a Model for Property Tax Reform

May 25, 2010. With Governor Cuomo proposing a rigid cap on property taxes based on Massachusetts’ Proposition 2½, this 2010 update of a landmark report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities should be must reading for New York policymakers. This report describes the problems the cap has created in Massachusetts and explains why the impact could be even more severe in New York. Among the key lessons of the Massachusetts experience:

  • A tax cap won’t make government services cost less.
  • Claims that caps will produce large savings through “efficiencies” are overblown.
  • Tax caps can be particularly harmful if adopted during a weak economy.
  • State aid can’t be relied upon to fill the gap.
  • Changes in school enrollment can have a big impact.
  • Without effectively targeted state aid, low-income communities will fall even further behind.
  • Wealthier communities will override a tax cap more frequently than poorer ones.
  • Middle-income communities might end up bearing the brunt of a cap.

More about Massachusetts’ Proposition 2½:

May 25, 2010. New York Shouldn’t Look to Massachusetts as a Model for Property Tax Reform: executive summary (html) and full report (pdf)
May 21, 2008. New York release of original report – html, pdf
May 21, 2008.  Response from the Commission on Property Tax Relief: Statement from Chairman Thomas J. Suozzi – html, pdf
May 28, 2008. More from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Suozzi’s Statement Ignores Truth about Massachusetts’ Property Tax Cap.

New York City: Economic and Budget Challenges

May 20, 2010. While Wall Street may have recovered, the average New York worker is still mired in the Great Recession. New York like most states has severe budget problems and not enough Federal aid; moreover, state and local government budget cuts will harm the local economy and slow the national recovery. In this context, the Mayor’s NYC budget proposal punishes workers and the poor but does not ask the well-off or Wall Street to share the burden. This presentation includes commentary on the state as well as the city budget budget situations. Report >>

Extending the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund Would Bring More Dollars and Jobs to New York

May 19, 2010. To help needy families during the Great Recession, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009, created a $5 billion Emergency Contingency Fund (ECF) within the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) federal block grant program. This brief shows that the TANF ECF has brought $935 million in new federal dollars to New York over the last year. With the nation continuing to experience high unemployment rates, an extension of the ECF past its current September 30, 2010, expiration date is essential.

Prevailing Wage for Building Service Workers in Buildings Owned or Managed by Persons Receiving City Financial Assistance

May 11, 2010. Testimony presented by James Parrott before the New York City Council Committee on Finance.

Is the recession over in New York?

May 10, 2010. Despite the fact that job numbers are up, unemployment is down, and gross domestic product has increased for three quarters – by the measures that matter, this recession has been worse for New York workers. Wages fell more sharply in this recession than in the two previous. Joblessness has more than doubled. At this point, 400,000 jobs are needed to return NYC unemployment to pre-recession levels. Also see Severe Recession Hangs on in Much of the City in Gotham Gazette’s Economy section. Article >>

Potential efficiencies in City operations

May 6, 2010. A letter sent by James Parrott to Stephen Goldsmith, the City’s new deputy mayor for operations, outlining some ripe opportunities for savings and efficiencies.

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