Pension contribution rates continue to fall for local governments. General employees will go from 18.2% of payroll to 15.5%, a drop of over 15% from that line item. Rates for police and firemen are less budget friendly, dropping only slightly from 24.7% to 24.3%.
Rates peaked a couple years ago as chickens came home to roost from years of largesse and sweeteners. The phasing in of new rules and new tiers is designed to bring down the rates for the state's defined benefit program for state and local employees.
However, this is a downward move on local expenditures, along with lower energy costs, so when all the budget metaphors are trotted out, remember there are positive forces.
In the case of local governments around these parts the 8% sales tax will yield about six percent more in that revenue category, again belying any use of the word "strapped" or the phrase 'to the bone."
DiNapoli: Pension Fund Recovers In Q3