2015

New York City’s Recovery Finally Starts Generating Wage Gains

April 13, 2015. In this report, FPI’s analysis shows that New York City’s recovery is finally starting to generate wage gains.

After years of wage and family income declines since the 2008-09 recession, several signs are emerging of real wage growth in New York City. The three major current government economic data sets all point to fairly widespread and firmly-established wage growth beginning in 2014.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) average private hourly earnings data show a 2.7 percent
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Initial Response to Budget Agreement on Revenue Bill: No Property Tax Relief and No Reform of Tax Credits; But Wealthy Get Sales Tax Exemption on Luxury Yachts

March 30, 2015. “It appears our legislative leaders couldn’t agree to provide tax relief to struggling homeowners and renters through a middle class property tax circuit breaker but managed to find the political will to provide sales tax exemptions for people buying luxury yachts. This seems like a case of some seriously misplaced priorities,” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. “We are also dismayed that the IDA tax credit reform proposal advanced by the Governor did … (read more)

Op-ed: De Blasio’s welfare reform correction: Critics who claim we’re sliding back to the bad old are blind to reality

March 27, 2015. An op-ed by James Parrott, Daily News.

Some see the slight increase in New York City’s welfare rolls in recent months as cause for alarm, warning that we are on an inevitable slide back to bad old days of chronic government dependency.

In fact, the uptick reflects a long overdue policy correction. Changes underway are about making temporary assistance “a leg up and not a hand out,” which is exactly what welfare should be.

Far from … (read more)

Budget Savings from a Minimum Wage Increase

March 27, 2015. As negotiations over New York State’s budget draw to a close, Governor Cuomo and the legislature are trying to hammer out an agreement to raise the state’s minimum wage, which is currently just $8.75 and is currently scheduled to top out at $9.00 at the end of this year. Both Governor Cuomo and the Assembly have proposed measures to raise New York State’s minimum wage, including a higher minimum wage level for New York City in the … (read more)

Comparison of the Executive, Assembly, and Senate Education Proposals FY 2015-2016

March 24, 2015. The governor’s Executive Budget proposal would increase school aid by $1.07 billion. The increase in school aid is contingent on passage of a package of changes to teacher evaluation, tenure, and other procedures called the Education Opportunity Agenda. The budget also includes an Education Tax Credit which would provide a large credit for donations to schools and the Dream Act which would provide tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children. The Assembly’s … (read more)

Comparison of the Executive, Assembly, and Senate Property Tax Relief Proposals FY 2015-2016

March 23, 2015. The governor’s Executive Budget proposal includes a significant new property “circuit breaker” that would provide relief to households (both owners and renters) whose property taxes are unreasonably high relative to their income. Circuit breakers address a serious shortcoming of the property tax—that payments are not linked to the taxpayer’s ability to pay. The State Assembly’s proposed budget also included the circuit breaker with an important modification—removing the link to the property tax cap. The Senate, in contrast, … (read more)

Policy Brief: Schools and Poverty

March 17, 2015. The state can improve low-performing schools and help students who face learning barriers by increasing funding for key education programs and poverty-fighting efforts. Proposals by the governor and the legislature are a start, but still fall short of what is needed.

In a report issued in February, the state identified 178 schools in 17 school districts as “priority” or “failing” schools. These schools score in the bottom 5 percent in student proficiency tests or have low graduation … (read more)

Briefing on Mayor deBlasio’s Preliminary FY 2016 NYC Budget: Addressing Needs and Budgeting Cautiously as the Recovery Progresses

March 10, 2015. FPI’s FY 2016 New York City budget briefing includes:

  • An overview of the Mayor’s Preliminary FY 2016 Budget proposal, with a particular focus on new human services spending initiatives in the context of changes in human services spending in recent years.
  • The social and economic context in New York City at the beginning of 2015: the unevenness of the recovery and wage, income and employment trends. The presentation will review the extent and persistence of low wages
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Briefing on the Mayor’s Preliminary 2016 NYC Budget

On Tuesday morning, March 10, 2015, the Fiscal Policy Institute presented its annual New York City budget briefing to the Economic Justice and Social Welfare Network at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. The briefing is open to the public.

The topics covered during the briefing included:

  • An overview of the Mayor’s Preliminary FY 2016 Budget proposal, with a particular focus on new human services spending initiatives in the context of changes in human services spending in recent years.
(read more)

Briefing on Mayor deBlasio’s Preliminary FY 2016 NYC Budget: Addressing Needs and Budgeting Cautiously as the Recovery Progresses

March 10, 2015. In his briefing of NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio’s second budget, FPI’s James Parrott notes:

  1. several positive budget changes;
  2. strong job and tax growth, but uneven gains for workers and families;
  3. budget outlook improving; and
  4. items still to be addressed on the budget front.
(read more)