New York Municipalities Blog

Insights on Issues Facing NYS Municipalities and Agencies

Latest Posts

Real Property Tax Cap Extension in Question?

As reported by Matthew Hamilton in the Wednesday June 3 edition of the Albany Times-Union, Governor Andrew Cuomo has stepped up efforts to secure a long term extension of the existing New York real property “Tax Cap” scheduled to expire a year from now. In its simplest terms, the tax cap limits ...
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June 04, 2015
Financial Institutions Join New York’s Fight against Zombie Properties

Eleven major financial institutions have stepped up to support New York state’s fight against foreclosed “zombie” properties. According to Governor Cuomo’s office, a group of banks, credit unions and mortgage companies have agreed to adopt a set of guidelines aimed at reducing the number of ...
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June 04, 2015
Detroit and Beyond: Pension Burdens Continue to be a Key Factor in Other Cities

At the March 2, 2011 Annual Awards Dinner of the Citizens Budget Commission in New York City then Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke about the challenges facing state and local governments. At the time the economy had begun recovering from the “great recession” of 2008-2009. As part of ...
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June 02, 2015
New York State Environmental Audit Incentive Policy – Leaving DEC Out of the Picture?

Previously, we urged that environmental audits make a lot of sense for an entity that faces any kind of environmental regulation – “The Nuts and Bolts of the New York State Environmental Audit Incentive Policy,” “New York State Environmental Self-Audits: A Form of Enforcement Insurance” an...
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May 28, 2015
The Nuts and Bolts of the New York State Environmental Audit Incentive Policy

In our prior posts concerning New York’s Environmental Audit Policy – “New York State Environmental Self-Audits: A Form of Enforcement Insurance” and “New York State Environmental Audit Incentive Policy: Not Just For Heavy Industry” – we sought to dispel the assumption that only indust...
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May 21, 2015
New York State Environmental Audit Incentive Policy – Not Just For Heavy Industry

In our previous blog on the topic of environmental audits, we discussed the potential value to local and county governments of conducting an audit to assess (and improve) their operations, and to limit or eliminate the potential for penalties and fines should they be inspected by environmental regul...
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May 18, 2015
New York State Environmental Self-Audits – A Form of Enforcement Insurance

Those who have held office in local or county government are likely aware that state and federal environmental regulations are applicable to governmental operations just as they are to the activities of commercial enterprises. Governmental operations often include a wide-ranging spectrum of activiti...
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May 14, 2015
Municipal Labor Contract Database Now Available Online

In an effort to promote greater transparency and accountability in government, the Empire Center for Public Policy posts state and local payrolls and other data on its web site SeeThroughNY.net. SeeThroughNY is a data-only web site, with no analysis or critique of the information posted, which serve...
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May 01, 2015
New York Takes on Zombie Properties

As reported by Natalie Rodriguez in the April 17 edition of Law360, New York lawmakers are poised to propose updated legislation aimed at addressing the issue of so-called “zombie properties” in the state. The Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act was introduced into both houses of the Stat...
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April 29, 2015
State Comptroller Announces a New Tool to Address Increasing OPEB Costs

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has announced new legislation recently introduced in the Assembly and Senate that would allow municipalities to create an investment pool to fund future costs associated with non-pension fund post employment benefits, such as retiree health insurance. If passed, ...
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April 23, 2015