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Money

Property tax payments by business up in 2010

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Mammaoca2008
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via Flickr
Almost half of all property taxes were paid by businesses - not homeowners - in New York State in 2010.

Adam Sichko at Buffalo Business First reports that New York businesses paid $21 billion in property taxes in 2010, about 11 percent more about 13.5 percent more (we're reporters, not statisticians) than the previous year:

The results cement the status of property taxes as the largest non-federal tax on private-sector employers, the lobby said. “Skyrocketing property taxes are smothering jobs in New York,” said Heather Briccetti, acting president and CEO of the 2,500-member lobby in Albany. In all, New Yorkers paid $48 billion in property taxes in 2010, an increase of 5 percent despite the fact that home values continue to fall throughout the state.

Upstate economics
Rochester's economy is holding steady, reports Matt Daneman at the Democrat and Chronicle, and that's a good thing:

The gross domestic product figures released Wednesday were estimates of the value of all the goods and services generated in each of the nation's 366 metropolitan areas. For the Rochester area, the value was $43.5 billion, including every haircut and garbage plate bought, every Bausch + Lomb contact lens produced and Xerox color digital printing press assembled. The Rochester figure was up less than one-tenth of 1 percent from 2008. All 366 metro areas had a combined decrease of 1.6 percent from 2008 to 2009 — not surprising since 2009 was when the U.S. economy hit bottom, but another sign that Rochester weathered the recession better than most. Other upstate economies also did comparatively well. The Buffalo-Niagara Falls area had a GDP of $43.2 billion in 2009, up more than 1 percent from the year before. And Syracuse's $26.4 billion also was up more than 1 percent.

Transportation
Eric Jaffe at Infrastructurist has the details on a new Brookings Institute report that shows that state transportation plans are both “broke and broken.”

The report is largely anecdotal; it lacks unique numerical graphics and appears to have been, in part at least, prepared in response to the decision in Florida. But its larger point about the pressing need to invest in infrastructure remains true. There may be a middle ground in transportation budget debates between free spending and massive program cuts — pragmatic policy that encourages spending, but only wisely. Whether legislators can find this ground is another question.

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