Public Finance

  • Blogs

    November 15, 2013

    More Cider Please: CIDER Act Would Be Good News for New York Apple Farmers

    Although hard apple cider tends to get the most attention during the fall months when apples are in season, the sweet, alcoholic nectar is actually available all year -- a godsend for apple farmers because it can be made from otherwise unsellable apples, and it provides a reliable, year-round source ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 16, 2013

    Related Companies Gets Massive Tax Exemption for Shopping Mall, Skyscraper at Hudson Yards

    Remember that $328 million subsidy for a shopping mall and skyscraper being developed by the Related Companies? Well, as expected, the city's Industrial Development Agency went ahead and approved the massive giveaway despite questions about its propriety. The 25-year tax exemption comes on top of a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2013

    Famous Tailor Mohanbhai Ramchandani Hid $3.2 Mill in Foreign Banks, Pleads Guilty to Feds

    Mohanbhai Ramchandani was about as well known as a tailor could be in New York. He's cut cloth for Rudy Giuliani, Ed Koch, Ricky Henderson, Patrick Ewing, and Walt Frazier, who once praised Ramchandani by reminding the New York Post that "I've been voted best-dressed athlete a lot of times." But in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2013

    City's Most Awesome Tax Breaks Clustered in Richest Areas

    Surprise! The vast majority of residential buildings that get the city's lavish 421a property tax breaks are located in the wealthiest districts. So says a map provided by the Independent Budget Office. Per the IBO, in all, the tax breaks cost the city $1 billion a year in uncollected revenue. Mor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2013

    Should We Be Following Hurricane Sandy Relief Money Online?

    Two weeks ago, the federal government gave New York City's Hurricane Sandy recovery plan the green light. With some $1.77 billion of federal funds, the city would spend more than a third on housing, invest in small businesses in areas destroyed by the storm, and rebuild infrastructure. One teensy fo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2013

    CHARTS: Mayoral Candidates' Incomes, Minus John Catsimatidis

    Several of New York City's mayoral hopefuls released their tax returns or reported their 2012 income this week to the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Below is a quick breakdown of what the candidates made in 2012 by sector, though the figures for Sal Albanese, Anthony Weiner (who hasn't form ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2012

    New York Dems: Hey, Mitt Romney, Tell Us About Your Offshore Bank Accounts!

    New York Democrats are welcoming GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney to the Empire State by kvetching about his failure to disclose a "sufficient"number of tax returns during his bid for the White House. Specifically, lefties are interested in a few offshore bank accounts the former Massachusetts ... More >>

  • News

    April 4, 2012

    Obama to Grad Students: Pay Up

    To save student-loan programs, the White House has saddled master's and Ph.D. candidates with added debt.

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    New York Socialists: Barack Obama Is Not a Socialist

    In the capricious, confusing, volatile world of contemporary American politics, at least one thing can be counted on these days: for better or for worse, a lot of people still think Barack Obama is a socialist. So you might wonder what socialists think about Obama. If the official reaction to Ob ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 27, 2011

    How Billionaires, like Ron Lauder, Avoid Paying Taxes

    ​Ever wonder how the super rich avoid paying all those taxes? Well, the New York Times has an interesting takeout here on all the shenanigans folks like Ron Lauder, of Estee Lauder, do to shelter their billions. According to the Times' David Kocieniewski, Lauder, worth $3.1 billion, donates h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2011

    Scientology's Top Former Spokesman Talks Spying; The Church's Hollywood Properties Probed

    More amazing new material for Scientology watchers today. We only have time for a quick dispatch while we're out of the underground bunker and on the road. First, Mark Bunker continues to release tidbits from the full-length Scientology documentary he's making, and yesterday dropped this meaty mo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2011

    Ai Wei Wei, Dissident Artist Freed From Jail, Fined Almost $2 Million

    ​Last week we reported that Ai Wei Wei, the dissident artist whose detention in China sparked international outcry, had been released after almost three months in jail. Authorities said he'd been released for health reasons, and for cooperatively copping to tax evasion. No details on the amoun ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2011

    Buy This Old Mafia File, Found in a New York City Taxi, For $10,000

    P. 460: Carlo Gambino​An old Mafia file found in a black bag in the back of a New York City cab in the early '90s containing mug shots, criminal histories, lists of associates, kids' and wives' names, and the favorite hangouts of 843 Mafia members in the '50s and '60s -- a trove of fascinating ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2011

    House Votes to Block Federal Aid For Planned Parenthood

    ​The House of Representatives voted Friday afternoon to block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding by a count of 240-185. The measure was led by GOP Rep. Mike Pence, who argues that the government should not support organizations that "provide or promote" abortion. The group last ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 6, 2010

    David Paterson vs. Philip Morris: A Great American Smokeout

    ​In today's battle of greater and lesser evils.... On one side, we have Altria (the pleasantly named yet clearly partial parent company of Philip Morris, which sells products that are proven to kill people). On the other, there's the Paterson team.

  • Blogs

    March 16, 2010

    Did Coke and Pepsi Get the Governor to Go Soft on Soda?

    The Governor hears out Coke & Pepsi.​Gov. David Paterson is not known for his moral character, but could he have let Big Soda sway him on the soda tax debate? Despite campaigning aggressively in favor of a penny-per-ounce tax on the price of soda and other sugary drinks, Paterson recently met ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 3, 2009

    More Tainted Meat; Illy Serves Starbucks

    ​ A new study reveals that half of American kids will live in households receiving food stamps before age 20. One in five will live on food stamps for years, while a number of kids will live in families who have to turn to food stamps during a short-term crisis. [USA Today] Spoiled meat alert ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2009

    Poll: Paterson Still Way Down; Voters Like Giuliani, Suggest He Run for Nothing

    A new Siena poll reveals Governor Paterson down a few points with a 27 percent approval rating, but a point up in performance, bringing him to 19 percent. (One percent of respondents rate Paterson's performance "excellent.") Paterson loses to Attorney General Andrew Cuomo 70-20 percent in a prospect ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2009

    IBO Report: Atlantic Yards to Cost City Big, Rain Cash on Ratner

    ​This just hasn't been a good week for Bruce Ratner, the Nets owner who'd rather be the Nets' landlord. First, he unveils a new vision of his much-derided Atlantic Yards arena plan — now with more metal mesh! — and gets slammed by Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff for cr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 4, 2009

    Mets Legend Jerry Koosman Turns Tax Truther, Gets 6 Months for Evasion

    ​The Mets are having such a bad year, their rotten luck has trickled down to ex-Mets as well. In July Lenny Dykstra declared bankruptcy, and now Jerry Koosman, hero of the 1969 Miracle Mets, has been sentenced to six months in prison for tax evasion. Koosman failed to pay taxes for three year ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2009

    Gotbaum Hits Cuts to Her Office As "Payback from Speaker Quinn"

    Because the Mayor talks about "belt tightening" and "sacrifice" when he cuts the budget, and you never hear from the civil servants who get those cuts in the neck, you might get the impression that they heroically and uncomplainingly shoulder their burden like good soldiers. Therefore it is both r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 13, 2009

    What's Happening This Week

    As many of you know, our weekly dining and drinking newsletter features all the hottest epicurean events in the city. Sign up for it here! This week, we bring you a little tax day relief and a beery movie night. The newly opened pizza-by-the-inch joint Golosi (125 Park Avenue) will have a tax day ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 10, 2009

    Booze 'n Bribes Inspectors Accused of Taking Applebee's Meals in Exchange for Speedy Liquor Licenses

    Robert De Niro is taking Nobu to Russia, with a new location set to open in Moscow. Chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa says he's looking forward to creating Russian dishes with local caviar and seafood. [Bloomberg] The Wall Street Journal looks at high-end BYOB restaurants, like Alto and The Modern, and repor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2009

    Upper White Trash: The Joy of Food Stamps

    (Editor's note: this dispatch is from a middle-aged, college-educated Manhattan resident who has given the hell up and gone on welfare. Some weeks back he described the process of signing up for the dole.) Despite all the waiting and the hassle of dealing with a bureaucracy, the one bright spot of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2009

    Financial Aid Update: Mostly, More Money for Students

    The stimulus bill President Obama signed into law last month has many ambitious goals, such as putting millions of Americans to work and saving the economy. One thing Obama accomplished immediately, though, was to render swaths of a story (written by me) in the Voice's January 20 Education Supplemen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 16, 2009

    Rightbloggers Celebrate Obama's Defeat on the Stimulus

    The stimulus bill made it through both houses of Congress and awaits the President's signature. Its passage required nearly all available Democratic votes and a handful of Republican ones in the Senate. Considering how some of Bill Clinton's first encounters with Congress went, despite Clinton's muc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2009

    Tolling Bridges, Taxing Rich, Chaining City Workers to Desks Among City's Budget Options

    This morning the city's Independent Budget Office issued its annual Budget Options document, a sprawling list of ways for the city to either save money or raise revenue. In past years, this was the kind of thing that only got policy wonks' hearts a-flutter; now, with the city staring down the barrel ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 3, 2009

    The stadium-naming deal? Make Citigroup and the New York Mets bail the public out for a change.

    In what's obviously a P.R. move, Citigroup says it's looking into pulling out of a $400 million marketing deal with the New York Mets. Here's the current situation: Citigroup is supposedly on the hook to pay $400 million to the Mets for the naming rights to the unwarranted new stadium. Meanwhile, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 28, 2009

    City Offers 50% Tax Refund Match to Poor Folks

    If you earn less than $20,000 a year, or are part of a family earning less than $45,000 a year, congratulations -- first, because you're somehow able to survive in New York on that, and second, because you're eligible for a $aveNYC account. Mayor Bloomberg offers you a place to put your tax refund, ... More >>

  • Columns

    January 14, 2009

    Bloomberg Leads Yankees in Steals

    Scoreboards and other trinkets given to baseball's richest team

  • Blogs

    January 7, 2009

    $1.19T Budget Deficit Will Normalize the Word "Trillion"

    Obama is promising to exert all the fiscal control he can as President, and has even hired a new "chief performance officer," former McKinsey consultant Nancy Killefer, to oversee spending. Nonetheless he said today that he expects the budget deficit, driven by stimulus payments to put the ruined ec ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 30, 2008

    Soda Tax Outreach Hits YouTube

    Our with-it state government is pushing its soda tax with a YouTube video starring State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines (who told us earlier this month that if this tax works out, they may move on to pizza and cheeseburgers). Daines tells viewers that "some taxes can be good for your health. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2008

    Lede of the Week

    "With the campaign's first debate in doubt, the arrival here of both presidential contenders brought chaos and confusion to the capital..." -- Russell Berman, New York Sun. Kudos also to Dan Mangan of the Post, 2nd graf: "The contentious meeting ended with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson literally ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2008

    Paterson Grilled at Breakfast on "Bloodsuckers," Obama, Apt., Etc.

    David Paterson got some tough questions Tuesday morning at a Crain’s Business Breakfast Forum, and gave some interesting answers: Comparing his rental situation in Albany to that of a soldier stationed in Iraq, for example, and suggesting term limits be lifted because eight years is not enough tim ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2008

    NYPD Gets Raises, More Perks in New Contract

    Under the terms of a contract settlement between the City and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, NYPD starting salaries will increase and cops will get a yearly four-percent raise. It's the first contract between the cops and the City to be settled (so far) without arbitration since 1994. The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 19, 2006

    Secrets of the Ratner Plan Revealed! (Not)

    Under pressure from Assemblymember Jim Brennan, the Committee on Open Government, and us, the state Empire State Development Corporation has finally released its economic impact study of Bruce Ratner's proposed Atlantic Yards project . . . kinda. What the ESDC actually made public yesterday was ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2005

    Mixed Money Messages

    When it comes to federal money for the city, hizzoner wants more . . . and less Mayor Bloomberg's Democratic rivals relentlessly accuse him of wimping out when it comes to challenging his Republican allies (that is, other people who are also elected on the Republican line) in Albany and Washington ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2005

    Where The Welfare Queens Went

    Once upon a time, welfare had defenders. Then welfare reform came and went without leaving millions of indigent mothers and children begging in the streets, and the debate was declared over. "Welfare reform helped to move 4.7 million Americans from welfare dependency to self-sufficiency within three ... More >>

  • News

    September 28, 2004

    Drain the Treasury, Pour in the Votes

    Desperate Bush touts phony "middle-class" tax cut

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2004
  • News

    August 24, 2004
  • News

    April 6, 2004

    A Billion Here, A Billion There

    New York City heads for a stadium overdose. Guess who will be paying.

  • News

    July 8, 2003

    Big Brother Gets a Brain

    The Pentagon's Plan for Tracking Everything That Moves

  • News

    January 28, 2003
  • News

    June 25, 2002

    Bloomberg's Fragile Budget

    Re-Election Year Politics Dictate Choices

  • News

    November 6, 2001

    The New Mayor’s Mission

    To The Victor Belongs the Toil

  • News

    August 28, 2001

    The Battle of 2016

    Progressives and Bush’s Wall Street Go to War Over Your Social Security Benefits

  • News

    July 31, 2001

    An Orgy of Abstinence

    Federal Funding Pushes No-Sex Education Into the Mainstream

  • Long Island Voice

    October 12, 1999
  • News

    May 18, 1999

    Train Runs Over Rudy

    Mayor Stands Up For City, Gets Clobbered By Runaway Commuter Tax Cut

  • More >>