Items tagged with 'Tom DiNapoli'

Pensions taking big slice of Albany's pie

albany city hallMunicipal budget fact of the day: pension costs eat 22 percent of the city of Albany's budget tax levy.

The Jennings administration released a letter today it says Jerry Jennings has sent to state comptroller Tom DiNapoli "urging real pension reform." Yep, that sounds like a big bowl of boiled vegetables, but this part caught our eye:

The rising cost of pensions has been one of the greatest burdens on our city's finances and taxpayers.
This problem has evolved into a crisis as you have mandated increases in pension contributions over the last several years which have devastated our city budgets. Over the last decade pension costs have ballooned from roughly $700,000 to over $12 million. In 2001, only 1% of the Albany taxpayers property taxes went to pension costs, as of last year they are paying 22% of their taxes to cover pension costs.
This means that ten years ago Albany residents were contributing approximately $7.50 per person to cover pension costs, today they are paying almost $130.

The full letter is after the jump. Not in the letter: criticism of the leaders and administrations who agreed to the contracts with the unions in the first place.

The larger political soap opera context...

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State comptroller says Medicaid is "leaking" millions, 89-year-old accused of attempted murder-suicide, electricity rates going up, The Missile pleads guilty

State comptroller Tom DiNapoli reported yesterday that New York's Medicaid system is "leaking" millions of dollars. He says the program lost $92 million over the last five years to errors, improper payments and poor record keeping. Among the improper payments cited by the comptroller: $196,000 in cab rides for a woman to travel daily from Dutchess County to Albany to visit her son. [NYS OSC] [NYT] [TU]

The Troy city council and mayor Harry Tutunjian were in court yesterday in an attempt to resolve their budget dispute. They didn't -- and now a judge will rule. [Troy Record] [TU]

Niskayuna police say an 89-year-old man tried to kill his 87-year-old sister as part of an attempted murder-suicide last week. He's been charged with attempted murder. [TU] [CapNews9]

Real estate agents say the federal first-time home buyer tax credit led to a surge in closed sales in the Capital Region last month (up 36 percent from last year, though only about 2 percent from 2007). There's still a lot of inventory. [TU] [AOA]

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I ride every day to work, and also after work for exercise. I love the concept of being a person who happens to ride a bike. There's a level of bike riding, with the high performance gear and sleek clothing, that makes riding seem like its not for everyone. I try to avoid markers like that, and always wear regular clothing/shoes/backpack with dumpy-looking bike. One concession is bike gloves.

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