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Fiscal Report Card on Governors, Cuomo scores “D”; Other rankings for NY remain the worst; Worst business climate, Highest gas taxes, Unemp still higher than national avg, and Debt 2nd highest nationally; NO Pay hikes for State lawmakers, already the 3rd highest compensated!; NYer’s poll “worse off than 4 years ago”; and Hope for our congressional delegation like in NY!

October 22, 2012

Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2012

The recovery from the recent recession has been very sluggish, and the nation’s governors have struggled with the resulting budget deficits, unemployment, and other economic problems in their states. Many reform-minded governors elected in 2010 have championed tax reforms and spending restraint to get their states back on track. Other governors have expanded government with old-fashioned tax-and-spend policies.

That is the backdrop to this year’s 11th biennial fiscal report card on the governors, which examines state budget actions since 2010. It uses statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records—governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades, while those who have increased taxes and spending the most receive the lowest grades.

Four governors were awarded an “A” in this report card—Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rick Scott of Florida, Paul LePage of Maine, and Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania. Five governors were awarded an “F”—Pat Quinn of Illinois, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Mark Dayton of Minnesota, Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, and Chris Gregoire of Washington.

Many states are facing major fiscal problems in coming years. Rising debt and growing health and pension costs threaten tax increases down the road. At the same time, intense global economic competition makes it imperative that states improve their investment climates. To that end, some governors are pursuing broad-based tax reforms, such as cutting income tax rates and reducing property taxes on businesses. The bad news is that many governors are expanding narrow “tax incentives,” which clutter the tax code in an attempt to micromanage the economy.

This report discusses these trends and examines the fiscal policy actions of each governor. Hopefully, policymakers in more states will be encouraged to follow the fiscal reform approaches of the top-scoring governors.

GOV CUOMO SCORES A “D” (45%)  – THE FULL REPORT HERE

(Our emphasis added: Whereas this report largely scores the policies and actions of the Governor himself, there is of course the notable impact of the State legislature which in NY is divided. We would contend without question, that the policies of the Democrat State Assembly drives the score down, while the policies of the Republican State Senate drives the score up.)

(Footnote2: Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2010 – Gov Paterson Scored an “F” (25%). Now ask yourself what has changed since besides the governor and the answer is consistent with our sentiments above. Rather than the Democrats having a complete lock on the state during which time they went on the most irresponsible spending spree along with other bad policies, Democrat Speaker Silver has since lost his dictorial super majority control of the Assembly, and the Senate was returned to Republican control. Voters in 2012 would be very well advised to keep in that way!)

 

AND BY THE WAY: New York’s jobless rate may have fallen for the first time in 11 months in September, albeit nominally, a welcome sign for Gov. Andrew  Cuomo. However, let’s not forget that the Ny State’s unemployment rate remains well above the national average!

New York’s 2013 Business Tax Climate Index Ranks 50th

New York ranks 50th in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes; individual income taxes; sales taxes; unemployment insurance taxes; and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property. The ranks of neighboring states are as follows: Pennsylvania (19th), New Jersey (49th), Connecticut (40th), and Vermont (47th).

50-State Comparison of Business Tax Climates (data only)

2013 State Business Tax Climate Index (full study)

2012 Tax Freedom Day (full study) Arrives on May 1 in New York

Tax Freedom Day is the day when Americans finally have earned enough money to pay off their total tax bill for the year. In 2012, New York taxpayers work until May 1 (ranked 2nd nationally) to pay their total tax bill. The Tax Freedom Days of neighboring states are: New Jersey, May 1 (ranked 2nd nationally); Pennsylvania, April 18 (ranked 14th nationally); Vermont, April 19 (ranked 13th nationally); Massachusetts, April 22 (ranked 8th nationally); and Connecticut, May 5 (ranked 1st nationally).

New York’s State and Local Tax Burden Second-Highest in Nation

During the past three decades, New York’s state and local tax burden percentage has ranked among the nation’s highest, currently estimated at 12.1% of income (2nd nationally), above the current national average of 9.8%…

New York’s Individual Income Tax System
New York’s personal income tax system consists of seven brackets with a top rate of 8.82%, kicking in at an income level of $10,000,000. Among states levying personal income taxes, this top rate ranks the state 7th highest nationally. New York’s 2010 state-level individual income tax collections were $1,796 per person, which ranked 1st highest in the nation.

New York Sales and Excise Taxes
New York levies a 4% general sales or use tax on consumers, below the national median of 6% [but localities are permitted to levy their own high sales taxes]. In 2009, New York’s state and local governments collected $1,170 per person in general sales taxes and $580 in excise taxes per person, for a combined figure of $1,750, which ranks 6th highest nationally. New York’s gasoline tax stands at 49 cents per gallon-the highest gas tax in the nation. New York’s cigarette tax stands at $4.35 per pack of twenty-the highest nationally.

State Gasoline Tax Rates,as of January 1, 2012 (Cents Per Gallon)

State, Excise Tax, Other Taxes and Fees, Total, Rank

N.Y., 8.1¢, 40.9¢, 49.0¢, 1st (highest)

New York Property Taxes among Nation’s Highest
New York’s local governments collected $2,136 per capita in property taxes during fiscal year 2009, which is the latest year the Census Bureau published state-by-state property tax collections. New York is one of the13 states that collect no state-level property taxes. Its per capita property tax collections in FY2009 rank 5th nationally.
State and Local Property Tax Collections Per Capita by State

New York’s Corporate Income Tax System
New York’s corporate tax structure is composed of a flat rate of 7.1% on all corporate income. Among states levying corporate income taxes, New York’s rate ranks 24th highest. In 2010, state-level corporate tax collections (excluding local taxes) were $201 per capita and ranked 7th highest nationally.

NY GOP to Comptroller: Comptroller DiNapoli’s Oversight Begins At Home (and about our state’s debt level, 2nd highest in the nation)

Albany, NY… August 19, 2012 – Today the New York GOP released the following statement in response to Comptroller DiNapoli’s comments regarding Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan:

Tom DiNapoli is what happens when you take a career politician with no experience in economics, but make him Comptroller anyway.
The man responsible for oversight of New York’s budget and finances just said that although he can’t come up with “a hard number,” he was certain that the Romney-Ryan plan would be “incredibly devastating” for New York.
The role of the Comptroller is to be fair, honest and nonpartisan. His public statements should be based on facts, not biased speculation.
Well here are the facts: the Obama White House hasn’t produced a serious federal budget since 2009, with the Democrat-controlled Senate voting down his last two budgets 99-0 and 97-0.
Obama’s plan for solving the Nation’s fiscal crisis, “tax the rich!”, is unserious (Obama’s beloved “Buffett Rule” would raise a paltry $47 billion over ten years, against projected trillion dollar yearly deficits ), deliberately divisive, and hits high-income New York worse than almost any other state.
Where is Tom DiNapoli’s outrage over Obama’s failure to manage America’s finances?
Back in New York, the New York Post just reported that Democratic Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera “used a taxpayer-funded nonprofit as her personal piggy bank, installed her unqualified lover as the group’s leader – and then helped him get a fat raise so he could take her on nice dates.”
Rivera joins Carl Kruger, Pedro Espada, Vito Lopez and too many others in the overcrowded Democrats’ Hall of Shame.
Where is Tom DiNapoli’s outrage over Democrats’ corruption in Albany?
Where is his oversight?
New York is in crisis: when adding the total of outstanding official debt, pension and other post-employment benefits liabilities and Unemployment Trust Fund loans, New York’s total debt is over $305 billion, worse than every state other than California.
Now more than ever, New Yorkers need a comptroller who will keep a credible watchful eye over our state’s budget and finances.
But Tom DiNapoli would rather pitch partisan attacks.

Oppose any Pay Hikes for NY State Lawmakers

Regardless of whether they last had a raise 12 years ago or 20 years ago, and reagrdless of what additional people’s business is completed this year! NYS lawmakers are the 3rd highest compensated legislators in the country (of course #1 being California) and as such, especially considering NY’s poor record in so many other areas, do we really need to see NY become the 2nd, or even #1, highest paid government in the nation?

Legislator Compensation, 2012

Source: Empire Center – By state as of April 2012New York Ranks third highest of all states in yearly salary
State Salary Per Diem (Allowance for Daily Expenses)
New York $79,500/year $171/per full day and $61 per half day.

Cuomo Says Do “The People’s Business” Before Pay Raise

Governor Cuomo says if state lawmakers are looking for a pay raise in a post election session, they’ll have to accomplish some items on his agenda first. The governor says before state legislators ask him for a pay hike, as is expected once elections are finished, they’ll have to make progress on some unfinished business from the last legislative session first.

Cuomo says he’s seeking action on increasing the minimum wage, reforming New York City’s Stop and Frisk laws, and decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. “The concept of a pay raise is’ well, the legislature’s really done a good job’,” asid Cuomo.

But the governor says the lawmakers would then have to “perform well”. “To perform well means, in my book, to do the people’s business,” he said.

Cuomo is not ruling out a pay hike. He’s said in the past that his commissioners need a raise. He says the relatively low pay has been a barrier to hiring quality people.

More New Yorkers think they’re worse off today than four years ago: Poll

ALBANY — More New Yorkers think they’re worse off than better off today vs. four years ago, according to a new poll.

Siena College found 47 percent of Empire State residents say they’re worse off now, while 35 percent believe they’re better off.

But 50 percent think the nation’s economic problems are only temporary, up five percent from a year ago. Still, the other half thinks America’s best economic days are gone, according to the survey, which was underwritten by First Niagara Bank.

There’s also a deep divide over Obamacare. Forty percent agree with Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney and favor repeal of President Obama’s health care plan that Romney says will take money out of Americans’ pockets, while 43 percent back Obama, who says the law will ensure coverage for everyone.

Meantime, the Oct. 2-6 telephone survey of 621 state residents found 68 percent favor increasing federal income taxes on Americans making more than $250,000 and most oppose reducing corporate tax rates, 54 to 31 percent.

Three quarters of New York residents support increased development of domestic oil and natural gas — though the survey did not specifically ask about “hydrofracking,” the controversial technique of drilling for natural gas with a chemical, water and sand mix as the Cuomo administration weighs whether to allow it in upstate New York’s Marcellus shale.

Altschuler leading in the latest two polls! Newsday silent. »

Bishop AltschulerOct182012pm / Take a look at James Hohmann’s item in Politico’s Morning Score today on a new poll showing Altschuler leading Tim Bishop by 5 points, 48 – 43. Politico’s Morning Score today:…

Randy Altschuler Job Creator vs. Tim Bishop Job Destroyer
Tim Bishop Is In Deep Trouble – After weeks of being dogged by questions about his ethics and recently “earning” the dubious distinction of being named one of the 12 most corrupt Members of Congress by a leading, non-partisan watchdog group, Tim Bishop is in deep trouble.

New York’s Tim Bishop named CREW’s Most Corrupt

 2012 State Senate and State Assembly rankings released

Conservative Party of New York State
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