Sharing is Caring

Municipal leaders are taking a second look at how their governments operate following the adoption of a pet program by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in this year’s budget.

The County-Wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan (or CWSSPTSP as no one calls it) requires counties outside of New York City to draft plans for sharing services in order to cut costs and find efficiencies. A new report from the Rockefeller Institute, in conjunction with the Benjamin Center and  the Center for Technology in Government, reviewed the 34 plans submitted this fall and analyzed the potential savings.

Jim Malatras, president of the Rockefeller Institute, joined Poozer Politics to explain the mechanics of the program, highlighted interesting proposals and identified the potential benefits (large and small) for taxpayers.

The conversation also addressed the criticism that this process fails to address major cost drivers, like pensions, and whether the analysis has been too political.

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EXTRA EXTRA: Alt-Right Financier Funds Local Attack Ad

All politics is local, even if you’re a billionaire.

Robert Mercer, the conservative financier behind Steve Bannon and then-candidate Donald Trump, waded into the Westchester County Executive election last month with nearly $1 million for a super PAC supporting incumbent Rob Astorino.

      Mark Lungariello

Journal News reporter Mark Lungariello joined Poozer Politics to explain Astorino’s ties with Mercer, talk about the impact of the ad blitz against challenger George Latimer and highlight indicators to look for on Tuesday night. Continue reading “EXTRA EXTRA: Alt-Right Financier Funds Local Attack Ad”

Planting the Seeds for Tax Reform in New York

Thirty years ago, New York overhauled its tax code in response to major reforms at the federal level. Now, with Republicans in Congress hoping to cut cut cut, is reform at the state and local level around the corner?

What would reform in New York look like?  Where is the low-hanging tax fruit? Do state politicians, especially Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have the appetite for a big fight in 2018? Why is loophole a dirty word?

For those answers and more, including their wish list for tax reform in the next legislative session, Poozer Politics turned to Ken Pokalsky, of the Business Council of New York, and David Friedfel, of the Citizen Budget Commission. The conversation touched on the collection of online sales taxes, property taxes in New York City and predictability for businesses.

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The Formula to Beat Partisan Gerrymandering

Do voters choose elected officials or do elected officials choose their voters?

The answer is usually the latter, as redistricting has become an exact science with states legislators utilizing computer programs that allow them to tip the scales in elections. But now good government advocates have a metric for identifying partisan gerrymandering, the “efficiency gap,” and it could be the basis for a new era in redistricting, depending on a potential ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jessie Amunson & Jeremy Creelan

Jessie Amunson, one of the lawyers challenging Wisconsin’s legislative lines in the Supreme Court, and Jeremy Creelan, author of a report on gerrymandering for the Rockefeller Institute, joined Poozer Politics to explain the efficiency gap, highlighted the case before the Supreme Court, and explore the legislative lines in New York.

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The Cyrus Vance Rules

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s campaign finance practices appears to have inspired new legislation.

Assemblyman Dan Quart

Assemblyman Dan Quart, a Manhattan Democrat, has introduced legislation that would impost special restrictions on campaign contributions for district attorney candidates. Candidates would be required to disclose any contributions from law firms that represents defendants in criminal proceedings and there will be limits on contributions from people or corporate entities that have “legal dealings” with a district attorney’s office. Continue reading “The Cyrus Vance Rules”