Gambling for Economic Development is High Risk

April 13, 2016 Cities

Gambling is intrinsically a zero-sum game. Though there may be locally, in the aggregate, there’s no economic multiplier. So it’s never made sense to me as a viable strategy for economic development. At best, it’s a break-even. And, the odds are that, it simply transfers money from one region to another, mostly from poor to […]

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Debt Markers for Selected Upstate NYS Cities

January 19, 2015 Budget

Continuing the discussion regarding the City of Albany, one of the participants was concerned about debt and the potential for taking on excess amounts. That’s always a legitimate concern. So I ran some comparisons. In the first, for selected cities in New York, you’ll see a really good indicator. That is debt service (principle and interest) as […]

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Don’t Spend it All in One Place

January 8, 2015 Medicaid

Dennis Yusko reports in today’s Times Union that the NYS Department of Health is offering to “settle” 5,707 rate appeals with county nursing homes. Some of the appeals go back to 1995. Specifically, what this refers to are the results, the technical methods, and facility-specific data used in calculations, by which the Department of Health […]

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The Patient is Recovering, but not Recovered

April 13, 2012 Economics

The Census data regarding state tax collections are now in for 2011. Here’s the report from Governing Magazine and here’s a summary quote: Total tax collections jumped in all 50 states last fiscal year, with oil-rich areas pocketing significant additional revenues. State financial data released today by the Census Bureau shows governments collected $763.7 billion […]

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Albany County Budget Stands … as a Document … Stay Tuned for Reality

December 15, 2011 Budget

As we noted earlier, Mike Breslin, the retiring Albany County Executive vetoed a number of legislative changes to his proposed budget. They would have had the unusual effect of increasing property taxes because he vetoed increased revenue estimates and new forms of “savings.” This past evening, by a very close vote (two-thirds of the members […]

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Albany County Budget Vetoes Would Increase (Not Decrease) Property Taxes

December 13, 2011 Budget

Albany County Executive Michael Breslin, with just a couple weeks to go before his 16 year tenure ends, has issued a series of unusual budget vetoes. These may be his most significant budget vetoes ever and they certainly are within the past half-dozen years, but there’s a twist. They would lead to increased property taxes […]

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Down is Up; Up is Down

November 29, 2011 Budget

A year ago, the Albany County Legislature’s Chairman of the Audit & Finance Committee, charged the Commissioner of Management & Budget (me) of artificially suppressing revenue estimates in order to create an argument supporting drastic cuts – that is the revenue numbers were too low. And so with that as backdrop, he and his co-conspirators […]

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Numbers News

September 29, 2011 Cities

Just for a taste. Though most of the taste is bitter Roubini says the economy has started a downturn.spending less on entertainment and charity. Guess we can’t count on charity to help those who are struggling in a down eocnomy. Fifth consecutive year that US cities suffer a revenue decline. Original study was done of […]

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