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State salaries -- and subsidies -- in a time of deficits

A little number crunching I did on seethroughny while the howls of protest  continue over Gov. David Paterson's proposal to cut the state's deficit budget by $600 million.

-- There are 14,656 state employees who earn more than $100,000 a year.

-- Of them, 297 make more than $200,000. Many of the folks on this list work for the state university system. Other agencies that pop up include the New York Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority and the Comptroller's office.

-- Four state employees make more than $500,000, led by Steve Strongwater, vice president of hospital affairs at Stonybook Hospital, who is slated to earn $715,851.

Mind you, this is out of some 263,000 employees listed in the database, and not all authorities are listed. Among the missing is the Thruway Authority. Also, the wages reported are base salaries and do not include, among other things, overtime.

I don't know if these numbers say something good or bad, but I think they're kind of interesting in light of the state's budget problems.

Before you union bashers, SUNY bashers, etc. start hollering, keep in mind that the state bestows hundreds of millions of dollars a year in tax breaks to corporations in the name of economic development, and that many companies fail to deliver the jobs they promised in order to qualify.

Add Empire Zones, IDAs and electric power discounts and you're approaching $1 billion a year. So far as I can tell, those programs remain untouched in the governor's package of cuts.

tagged

State government | Subsidies
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