Author

Local Government Reliance on Fines and Fees to Raise Revenues Hurts Residents and Communities

Across New York State, fines and associated fees are relied upon by local governments as a source of local revenue. Decreased aid from the state coupled with the 2-percent property tax cap, which was enacted in 2011 and restricts annual property tax increases to the lesser of 2-percent or the rate of inflation, has led to decreased revenues for local jurisdictions. To make up for budget shortfalls – which have worsened during COVID-19 – local governments may be tempted to … (read more)

Refugee Resettlement Agencies Are Providing Essential Services During COVID-19

Now more than ever, refugee resettlement agencies are providing essential services to refugees and also to a number of other community members, to help protect everyone during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, the Fiscal Policy Institute showed how refugee resettlement agencies are anchor institutions in their communities, providing services for some of the most vulnerable community members, jobs for local residents, and a productive use for buildings that in some cases might otherwise be vacant. The importance … (read more)

1.2 Million New Yorkers Excluded from the CARES Act

 

Undocumented immigrants are being affected by COVID-19 like all other New Yorkers, but unlike others they are being systematically excluded from federal economic assistance programs.

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included financial support for many families and businesses through this difficult period. But, despite the efforts of some members of Congress, the CARES Act very specifically excluded undocumented immigrants, and in some cases as collateral damage they excluded the children and spouses of … (read more)

Strengthen Medicaid and Protect Health Coverage for New Yorkers

May 20, 2020

This time last year, New York celebrated its lowest rate of residents without health insurance to date at 5 percent. A historic low that is a continuation of nearly a decade of decline in people who lack health insurance, this record-breaking success set New York apart from the national trend of rising uninsured rates.

The public health and economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic threatens past success in reducing the rate of the uninsured in New … (read more)

Unemployment Insurance Taxes Paid for Undocumented Workers in NYS

May 14, 2020

In the midst of a pandemic, there has been a growing call for undocumented immigrants, who make up five percent of the New York State labor force, to be covered by some form of unemployment insurance. What is often overlooked in discussions of unemployment insurance is the extent to which undocumented immigrants are already part of paying into the existing system, even when they are excluded from collecting benefits.

Undocumented immigrants face the same challenges as other … (read more)

New York’s Unemployment System Depends on Continued Federal Assistance

May 11, 2020

Following the Great Recession, New York’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund only achieved a positive fund balance for the first time in fiscal year 2016. On January 1, 2020, the balance stood at $2.65 billion, but the fund was nearing insolvency according to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic mitigation began eight weeks ago, over 1.7 million New York residents have filed for unemployment, which is roughly 5 percent of the nation’s … (read more)

New York Can Do More for All New Yorkers, Regardless of Immigration Status, Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

April 29, 2020.

In response to the economic and health hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has created for individuals and families, state and federal governments have created relief programs to provide financial, safety and medical assistance. However, these relief programs do not apply to everyone. Many programs exclude undocumented immigrants who have also been laid off from jobs due to nonessential business closures. Undocumented immigrants are also experiencing the same financial and health hardships that the rest of us experience, … (read more)

Fines and Fees: Raising Revenue at the Community’s Expense

As New York State looks toward restarting the economy in the wake of COVID-19, a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) warns local governments not to rush to build revenue through the use of fines and fees – a long-standing, inequitable source of funding primarily drawn from low-income communities and communities of color.

Between 2010 and 2017, 31 city governments, out of 62, in New York State reported an increase in expected fine revenue in their annual budgets, … (read more)

FPI Comments on Federal Reserve Action

April 17, 2020

Recently, the Federal Reserve took a welcome step forward for states struggling in the wake of the pandemic by creating a new way to lend money directly to states and municipalities.  Through the Municipal Liquidity Facility, New York and other states struggling with a sudden drop-off in much-needed revenue can now access the funds needed to cover essential services.

While this is helpful in the short-term, states will need to borrow until their revenues recover. And that … (read more)

Press Release: Spotlight on New York’s Essential Workers

April 8, 2020

Overlooked, Underpaid and Indispensible

Read the report: http://fiscalpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Essential-Workers-Brief-Final.pdf

(Albany, NY) Today the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) released a new report spotlighting New York’s essential workers who are on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the new analysis, there are 2.2 million “essential workers” in New York State. Twenty-two percent of these essential workers support their families on low incomes, with family incomes of less than 200 percent of the poverty level.

Statement from (read more)