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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Recent Comments

Washington Avenue definitely needs more than one lane in each direction, but that doesn't mean it can't be redesigned. They can reduce the size of the lanes, add a median, and add a protected bike lane where the shoulder of the road now lies. I agree, however, that the entire Harriman loop would have to be redesigned and that includes those over-passes, so this would be an extremely expensive undertaking if they want to do it right. But there could be significant development on the land that is now wasted by asphalt that could offset that cost and bulk up the tax base for the city.

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