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The second civil war

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16.02.2019

New York State faces a budget shortfall of $2.3 billion as it plans for the next fiscal year. This is a problem. Problems have causes.

Through Governor Cuomo’s tender mercies, New York’s public colleges offer “free” tuition to students of families earning up to $125,000/year. Of course, the tuition is not free at all. The taxpayers cover it.

Let’s be clear on that.

The Governor has extended the $420 million/year tax credit to studios and TV networks who film in NYS. This is economic development. And it is $420 million that the state does not collect.

New York has the second costliest Medicaid program in the country ($62 billion), exceeded only by California ($88 billion) and considerably ahead of third place Texas ($41 billion). Evaluating New York’s Medicaid benefits is a subject for another essay. For now, let’s just acknowledge the considerable price tag. And that the state shifts a significant portion of that tag to local governments. Approximately 30 percent of your Ontario County tax bill funds the state Medicaid program.

The Governor proudly wooed Amazon to Long Island with tax incentives in excess of $1 billion. He said that the incentives were necessary. NYS was in a bidding war.

Speaking of “war” brings us to the real culprit regarding NY’s revenue shortfall. Apparently, the financial difficulty has little to do with any........

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