Fiscal Intelligence

Fiscal analysis that enables educators, small business owners, and community organizers to make informed decisions.

Month: May, 2013

2013 Edelman Trust Barometer Finds a Crisis in Leadership

Initiative to Transform University Communities into Magnets for New Businesses and Investment

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today unveiled “Tax-Free NY,” a game-changing initiative that will transform SUNY campuses and university communities across the state into tax-free communities that attract start-ups, venture capital, new business, and investments from across the world.


Scheme to set artificially high ebook prices orchestrated by Steve Jobs

The US government’s price-fixing lawsuit against Apple goes to trial next month in New York. Ahead of its court date, the US released emails that purport to show Apple was the “ringleader” in a scheme to set artificially high ebook prices with some of the largest American publishers, which have already settled the case.

Bernanke’s Testimony to Congress

Most recently, the strengthening economy has improved the budgetary outlooks of most state and local governments, leading them to reduce their pace of fiscal tightening. At the same time, though, fiscal policy at the federal level has become significantly more restrictive. In particular, the expiration of the payroll tax cut, the enactment of tax increases, the effects of the budget caps on discretionary spending, the onset of the sequestration, and the declines in defense spending for overseas military operations are expected, collectively, to exert a substantial drag on the economy this year. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the deficit reduction policies in current law will slow the pace of real GDP growth by about 1-1/2 percentage points during 2013, relative to what it would have been otherwise.

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”Bernanke's Testimony to Congress” target=”_blank”>Bernanke's Testimony to Congress</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Luis Taveras MBA, MS</a></strong> </div>

The Taylor Law

The Taylor Law (particularly the Triborough Amendment provision) expires on July 1st. What should Gov. Cuomo do?

The so-called Triborough Amendment, passed in 1982, prohibited public employers from “refus[ing] to continue all the terms of an expired agreement until a new agreement is negotiated” unless – importantly – the union went on strike.


The Pension Pain

Budget Options for NYCDOE

Budget Options for New York City

The budget options originate in a number of different ways. Some are included because elected officials, advocates, and other individuals have asked IBO to analyze their potential to cut costs or raise revenue for the city. Other options were generated by IBO’s own team of experts. More than a few have been the subject of public discourse for many years. Members of the public can also suggest options and for the first time this year, IBO invited them to send us their ideas via social media. Fans and followers sent in several thought-provoking suggestions; our option to consider development impact fees came by way of Facebook. It is IBO’s hope that in the years to come we will receive more ideas from our online readership for which we can estimate savings or revenue.

Stable Rate Pension Contribution Option

While pension relief for local governments and schools will continue to grow over time as a result of the landmark Tier VI pension reform, these entities continue to face recurring and significant near-term increases in employer contribution rates brought by the 2008 market crash and the subsequent recession.

School District’s Outstanding Debt and Pension Costs

The debt service increase accounts for 0.65% of the proposed tax levy increase for 2013-2014; mandated pension costs to the Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) total 2.31%. Together, these constitute 2.96% of the proposed 3.19% (with STAR) tax levy increase.