Local Tax & Budget Policy

Heights of Privilege

June 2, 2016. The following article by James Parrott appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. If you want to learn about the latest manifestations of inequality in urban America, read the real-estate sections of newspapers and magazines and check out the photo spreads on luxury condos in new residential skyscrapers. The palatial size, lavish finishes, and breathtaking price tags of these properties are advertisements of our new Gilded Age. In the area immediately south of Central Park in Manhattan now known as [...]

New York State Economic and Fiscal Outlook FY 2017

February 3, 2016. In its 26th annual New York State budget briefing book, the Fiscal Policy Institute analyzes and comments on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s FY 2017 Executive Budget. The Executive Budget advances some bold and progressive proposals that well reflect the values and needs of New Yorkers. In particular, the governor has shown great leadership and vision in forcefully advocating for a first-in-the nation statewide $15 minimum wage. If enacted, the minimum wage increase would lift the incomes of 3.2 million New Yorkers who desperately [...]

Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the FY 2017 Executive Budget – Taxes

February 2, 2016. Executive Director Ron Deutsch testified before the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees on the Governor’s FY 2017 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan. Income inequality has increased in New York during the recovery with income for the 1 percent growing faster than the average income for everyone else. New York’s combined state and local tax structure is regressive and several rounds of substantial multi-year tax cuts in the past three years have done nothing, on net, to make the tax [...]

Addressing the Unintended Consequences of the Property Tax Cap

June 10, 2015. In 2011 New York established a property tax cap for school districts, counties and municipalities. New York should proceed cautiously before making the cap permanent in order to gather more information on the impact of the cap. Increasing state funding of services like education, healthcare or providing targeted property tax relief such as a circuit breaker credit would be more effective and efficient ways to address high property taxes. But short of eliminating the cap, here are some ways to mitigate some [...]

Summary of Selected Tax Provisions in 2015-2016 State Budget

April 14, 2015. The Final FY 2015-16 budget is more notable for the tax proposals that were left out than for what is included. In the FY 2015-16 Executive Budget, the governor proposed three major tax changes: a new property tax circuit breaker for low- and middle-income homeowners and renters, an education tax credit, and a modest reduction in taxes on small corporations. None of these changes were included in the final budget, however, property tax relief and the education tax credit are expected to [...]

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, replaced the circuit breaker with [...]

Policy Brief: Property Tax Relief (Circuit Breaker)

March 5, 2015. The property tax relief plan (circuit breaker) proposed by the governor would help low- and middle-income New Yorkers that are struggling to pay their taxes and should be adopted with a few changes that would make it even more effective. The governor’s Executive Budget proposal includes a significant new property tax “circuit breaker” that would provide relief to households whose property taxes are unreasonably high relative to their income. Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia provide some type of property [...]

A missed opportunity: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget needs to firmly invest in the Empire State

February 15, 2015. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal takes some positive steps forward in clearly acknowledging, for the first time in his tenure, the incredible child poverty and income inequality that exist in our generally affluent state. He also wisely recognizes the need to give greater property tax relief to those who need it most rather than spreading it too thinly. However, for every step forward the governor takes in addressing some critical issues, he takes two steps back by continuing his austerity spending at a [...]

New York State Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2015-2016

February 10, 2015. In its 25th annual New York State briefing book, the Fiscal Policy Institute analyzes and comments on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2015-2016 Executive Budget. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal takes some positive steps forward in clearly acknowledging, for the first time in his tenure, the incredible child poverty and income inequality that exist in our generally affluent state and recognizing the need to give greater property tax relief to those who need it most rather than spreading it too thinly. However, for [...]

Testimony at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the 2015-2016 Executive Budget – Taxes

February 9, 2015. Executive Director Ron Deutsch testified before the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees on the Governor’s 2015-2016 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget proposal takes some positive steps forward in clearly acknowledging, for the first time in his tenure, the incredible child poverty and income inequality that exist in our generally affluent state and recognizing the need to give greater property tax relief to those who need it most rather than spreading it too thinly. However, [...]

Preliminary Analysis: Budget Takes One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

January 21, 2015. Ron Deutsch, Executive Director “The Governor’s proposal takes some positive steps forward to deliver targeted property tax relief and address poverty in the state. However, for every step forward we take two steps back if we don’t dramatically increase aid to our fiscally stressed schools and local governments and commit substantial resources to ending child poverty in our state.” James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist “To really help the poor and the middle class, we need to scrap the 2% spending [...]

New Analysis Confirms Low- and Middle-Income New York Taxpayers Pay Higher Tax Rate than the Richest New Yorkers

January 16, 2015. A new study just released by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) finds that the wealthiest New Yorkers are paying a smaller share of their income in state and local taxes than lower-income families that are struggling everyday to make ends meet. New York households with incomes under $100,000 pay higher effective state and local tax rates, ranging from 10.4% to 12%, than the richest 1% of households with incomes over $600,000, who pay [...]

FPI Commends Governor Cuomo for Advancing Middle Class Circuit Breaker—Targeted Tax Relief Tied to Income Is the Most Effective Mechanism

January 14, 2015. Governor Cuomo just announced a $1.66 billion property tax credit program (commonly referred to as a “Circuit Breaker”) to help ease the burden on working class families who are paying too much of their income in property taxes. The Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), working with our partners in the Omnibus Property Tax Consortium, has been calling for a targeted circuit breaker for years.  “We are pleased that the Governor announced a circuit breaker proposal that targets relief to working and middle class [...]

New York City Taxes Ripe for Reform

January 13, 2015. The City of New York taxes its wealthiest residents much less than middle- and low-income residents, and state and local officials should fix three major City tax breaks that expire this year, according to a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI). In a sweeping report that reviews decades of tax changes and trends, FPI pinpoints inequities, tallies the cost of broken tax breaks, and urges tax reforms that reflect today’s economy and current challenges. A report summary is also available. [...]

New York State Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014-2015

February 4, 2014. In its 24th annual New York State budget briefing, the Fiscal Policy Institute reviews the major spending and tax reduction proposals contained in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2014-15 Executive Budget. FPI’s briefing provides a critical assessment of four fundamental assumptions that shape the proposed budget and state fiscal projections for the following three years. These assumptions deal with the preferred size of New York government, the optimal growth rate of state spending, the potential for budget savings related to government consolidation, and the [...]

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