Long Island is the sixth wealthiest area in the country. As the rest of the country struggles with unemployment and economic downturn, Long Island boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and employment opportunities in many fields. The average household income for Long Island is almost $53,000. another advantage of the area is the first-rate schools, parks, museums, and beaches. Divided into four counties, Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, and Brooklyn/Kings, Long Island covers 125 miles and is home to seven and a half million people. There are 107 schools in the Nassau and Suffolk counties and upwards of 90,000 businesses.
Of those people, the home ownership rate is incredibly high. in Suffolk and Nassau County almost eighty percent of the population owns their home. Queens has an ownership rate of almost forty-three percent, while Brooklyn lags behind at twenty-seven percent. Long Island real estate is clearly some of the best in the country, both because of its proximity to New York City and because of its geographic location on an island. The average price for a home in 2008 was surprisingly good for the area at around five hundred thousand.
Unlike many other real estate situations, Long Island houses have the added possibility of the owners renting it out for short term vacationers or people attending events in New York City. according to the Internal Revenue Service, owners can derive tax-free income from renting a home or getaway, provided it is rented out for 15 days or fewer and they don’t claim any of the tax deductions typically allowed on rental property such as for depreciation or maintenance. Once the 15-day threshold is reached, a different set of tax laws comes in to play.
If you close on your new house before December 1, 2009, you may also be able to qualify for the first-time homebuyer tax credit of $8,000. A married couple earning less than $150,000 or a single person earning less than $75,000 both qualify for this tax credit. in addition, virtually any type of home qualifies as long as it is your primary residence. with all of the advantages and benefits to Long Island, finding either a long term or seasonal vacation home for the price you are looking for couldn’t be easier.
Geddes, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo celebrated dairy and yogurt at the new York State Fair today with about 200 protesters in tow asking him to reject proposed hydrofacking in the state. With shouts of “Gov. Cuomo, be a hero” and refrains to “Stop in the name of love,” the anti-hydrofracking group followed Cuomo as he visited a veterans memorial, the new York State Police booth and the yogurt-inspired butter sculpture.
“The butter sculpture this year is of Greek yogurt,” said Cuomo, who earlier this month held a “yogurt summit” in Albany to brainstorm ways to boost new York’s dairy industry along with the new food craze.
“We’ve been courting yogurt manufacturing to come to the state of new York,” Cuomo said. “Yogurt manufacturers bring jobs, they employ people, and they use a lot of milk.”
But Cuomo repeated that there is no specific deadline for the Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a final ruling on hydrofracking.
Erin Heaton lives in new Berlin, where Chobani manufactures Greek yogurt. She’s worried that hydrofracking could push out manufacturers like Chobani that depend on both agriculture and clean water.
“Chobani is a great thing,” she said, admitting she ate some blueberry-flavored Chobani for breakfast today. “I don’t think Chobani and fracking would mix well.”
Hydrofracking involves drilling deep and horizontally to release natural gas. Proponents say the industry will bring jobs to the state. Opponents are worred about groundwater contamination.
Cuomo, a Democrat in his second year, showed little concern for the protesters. He shook the hands of politicians and state troopers, posed for photos with fairgoers and even had a discussion with a young girl about the spelling of her name. She spells it Kara, while Cuomo’s daughter goes with Cara.
Cuomo’s daughters, Cara, 17, and Michaela, 14, accompanied the governor on the 45-minute tour, which also included a stop at Gianelli Sausage for a sausage sandwich.
Marie Mingin pushed through the media and security to get a photo with Cuomo. “My sister is mad in love with him,” said Mingin, of Syracuse. “She couldn’t be here, so I got one for her.”
Naryl Mendillo, of Scipio, edged in with her anti-fracking signs, some of which included umbrellas with “no frack” spelled out on the shades.
“I have faith he won’t do this to our state,” she said. but if he does, it’ll cost him her vote.
As Cuomo left the fairgrounds, he saw Heaton wearing a shirt that had a print of a cow filled with tiny words describing the chemicals forced into the ground in the hydrofracking process. The governor, from where he stood, couldn’t see the scientific names, but he could see the cow and the shirt’s message: “love new York? Don’t frack it up.”
Cuomo shouted to Heaton: “Love your shirt.”
“Thank you,” she replied.
Later, she said it was her favorite shirt. “Because it’s hopeful.”
Contact Teri Weaver at email@example.com or 315-470-2274.
By Neil Shah
A roundup of economic news from around the Web.
–New York City Jobs: Jason Bram and James Orr look at new York City’s puzzling job-market gains. Employment in the big Apple has rebounded strongly, reaching 3.86 million, the largest number of jobs ever recorded. yet the city’s unemployment rate is actually rising and stands at 10%–higher than the 5% seen before the economic crisis. Diving into the data, there’s a yawning gap between city job growth (based on surveys of businesses) and numbers of employed residents (based on surveys of people)—a gap that’s becoming more pronounced and raises serious questions about how strong the City’s recovery really is. Bram and Orr, both at the new York Fed, explore three possible explanations that could be juicing the first measure of employment (which tells good news) while leaving the second measure cold, namely, 1) new jobs could be going to people commuting into the city; 2) the economic crisis could’ve pushed the self-employed into jobs at businesses and 3) people might be holding multiple jobs. While these three factors are indeed handled differently by the two employment measures, the authors don’t find them satsifying answers to the conundrum. “The stagnation of resident employment remains largely a puzzle,” they say.
–Soda Bans: James Surowiecki takes up Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial policy of banning large sodas. While the new Yorker columnist agrees Bloomberg’s latest public-health policy smacks of a “nanny-state mentality,” he provides three solid arguments for why the change is for the better. (It’s not just new York tinkering with soda policy: 30 states, including Texas and Iowa, levy a sales tax on purchases of sweetened drinks to curb obesity and raise money.) Surowiecki says consumers tend to stick with “default” options, so if you make a smaller soda the default option, we’ll bite. And be healthier. second, a consumer’s idea of what’s sufficient depends significantly on external cues, not just his or her belly. You eat more when you are given more. Period. And restaurants have definitely been giving more. third, our feelings about our choices – not to mention our sense of what’s socially acceptable and satisfying – changes based on context. If everyone is drinking 32-ounce sodas, and I want to be healthy, I might go for 16 ounces. But if everyone is drinking 16, I might eschew soda altogether. the real debate, for economists at least, is how to construct effective “nudges,” in other words, whether to go with outright bans like Bloomberg’s or the kind of higher taxes we use for, say, alcohol.
–U.S. Fertility: In a surprising bit of demographic news, the Economist discusses how America’s fertility rate quietly fell below 2.0 in 2011 and is now running at 1.9, below France’s and England’s. for years, America has been notable for being one of the few rich Western countries with a total fertility rate above the “replacement rate,” meaning the level at which we’re replacing people who pass away and keeping population stable. Turns out we’re more like Japan and Scandinavia than we thought, which has repercussions for America’s health and fiscal policies, since all this means fewer young people around to pay for the retirements and health problems of the elderly. the culprit? The weak economy, for starters, which means less migrants finding work and staying in the US, and having children. Also, lower incomes have young people putting off marriage and kids.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – the Bronx could soon have a place for lovers of all things ice.
WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond on the Story
New York Rangers legend mark Messier and Olympic gold medalist figure skater Sarah Hughes of Long Island have big dreams for the Kingsbridge Armony, which is currently a vacant fortress.
“It’s going to be an incredible facility and an integral part of the lives of children who come here. It’s going to help them become better athletes and better students,” Hughes told reporters on Thursday.
Ruben Dias, Jr., mark Messier, and Sarah Hughes – Aug 23, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)
The plan is for it to house nine regulation-size skating rinks and seating for 5,000 people.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones on the Story
“It’s not that if we build nine rinks, kids are going to go ‘Aww. I’m not going to come and play. This place is going to be filled up with kids,” developer Kevin Parker said.
The plan also includes a youth skating initiative run by Messier.
“Youth sports was designed for the mental and physial well-being of our children and I think that’s what this provides our kids here in the Bronx,” Messier said. “Working together, working towards common a goal, being responsible. Those are things that hockey really teach kids.”
The Kingsbridge Armory National Ice Center, as it would be known, received the backing of Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. who opposed plans for a mall there.
Other proposals for the site that have come and gone included a community center and a housing complex.
“Here we have a commitment that every single job will pay a living wage. We’re going to have 1,800 construction jobs and hundreds of permanent jobs,” Dias said. “This can be another area where we can open our doors and invite people… to come and take another look, a new look, at the new Bronx.”
Diaz said he doesn’t think skating will be a hard sell for kids in the Bronx, who primarily play baseball and soccer.
“There’s a known knowledge that says ‘you build it and they will come,’” he said.
The plan still requires the backing of city officials.
Do you think the hockey center is a good idea? Sound off in the comments section below.
By ERIKA NIEDOWSKIAssociated Press
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The government deal that guaranteed a $75 million loan for baseball star Curt Schilling's video game company focused almost exclusively on how quickly the firm would bring jobs to Rhode Island and overlooked requirements for attracting outside investment or other steps that could have helped protect the public's money.
The state's agreement with 38 Studios in 2010 demanded job creation – and virtually nothing else – at a pace described as aggressive both by former employees and those familiar with the video game industry. And Schilling's firm hired even more quickly than the state required, draining its resources faster than if it had grown at a pace more typical of startups.
While Rhode Island was by far the company's biggest investor, officials did not demand a seat on its board or require that 38 Studios raise outside capital according to any timetable, though the firm's success hinged on its ability to bring in the tens of millions of dollars needed to finish its game.
Gaming industry and other experts agreed in interviews with The Associated Press that, in short, the state Economic Development Corp. crafted an agreement under which 38 Studios could fail despite, and in some ways because of, its attainment of every milestone Rhode Island set down.
“I think it's kind of stupid for anybody who isn't familiar with the industry to invest in it,” said gaming industry analyst Michael Pachter, of the firm Wedbush Securities. “You want to believe that the state did their homework and they're sophisticated investors and understood the risks, but clearly they didn't. Obviously they thought they were buying jobs.”
38 Studios laid off its nearly 300 employees in Rhode Island in may and filed for bankruptcy protection in June. The state, which has the country's second-highest unemployment rate, is likely on the hook for more than $100 million, including the $75 million in bonds it floated as part of the deal, plus interest.
Judy Chong, an EDC spokeswoman, said the agency is doing an “extensive review” of the 38 Studios transaction and could not answer questions from The Associated Press until it was complete.
Keith Stokes, who resigned as executive director of the EDC in may, and Michael Saul, the EDC's former managing director of finances, did not return calls seeking comment.
Known for his grit and gusto, Schilling became a Boston Red Sox hero in 2004, pitching on an injured ankle that stained his sock with blood in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. The team went on to win the World Series.
He founded 38 Studios – initially Green Monster Games – in Massachusetts two years later, naming it for his jersey number. he reportedly met Rhode Island's governor at the time, Donald Carcieri, during a film fundraiser at Schilling's home in March 2010, and the loan guarantee deal that lured him to Rhode Island took shape quickly over the next few months.
Schilling has not responded to the AP's requests for comment.
38 Studios planned to hire aggressively on the way to meeting the launch date for its “massively multiplayer online game” – games that are incredibly expensive and time-consuming to create. The state offered an incentive for the fast-paced hiring.
The EDC built into the deal a $7,500 per-job penalty if 38 Studios fell short of its hiring requirements. The company brought on workers even faster than estimated, according to the EDC, and some at 38 Studios worried the growth was too fast for the company's good – and ultimately not sustainable, given its difficulty attracting investment.
Employees had no indication the company was in financial trouble until they didn't get paid; within weeks, all of them would be let go. in retrospect, some employees wondered “had we been burning slower, with a smaller team and released a smaller game, we could have at least got to the point to where we were bringing in revenue and then ramped up accordingly,” said a laid-off employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he feared for his prospects of future employment.
38 Studios got nearly $13 million from the state when the loan guarantee agreement was finalized in November 2010 and $9.4 million more in December when it announced a move date, according to the EDC.
It received $17.2 million in April 2011 after creating at least 80 jobs with a salary of at least $67,500. it was estimated the firm would hire another 45 employees by November 2011, but it reached that mark in April, as well, the EDC said, allowing it to access $4.2 million more.
The company then got $1.6 million at the start of November 2011 for creating at least an additional 125 jobs. that mark had been expected at the end of January this year.
The company also got funds when it landed a distribution deal for its game.
The EDC has hired an outside attorney to determine whether the state can recover any money from individuals or groups involved in the loan guarantee. Federal and state authorities have also launched investigations into financial transactions at 38 Studios.
Pachter, the analyst, said most gaming studios typically don't have more than 200 employees. The game 38 Studios was making might have required twice that manpower toward the end of its development, he said. but the company fell behind that schedule; Gov. Lincoln Chafee has said the game was still a year from release by the time 38 Studios filed for bankruptcy.
While the state focused on job creation targets in negotiating with 38 Studios in 2010, the EDC would much later suggest new guidelines for evaluating whether startups like 38 Studios – without any revenue – should get a loan guarantee.
Guidance issued in April, as 38 Studios' financial woes spilled into public view, calls for at least a 30 percent “co-investment”- up front – and a personal guarantee from anyone with 20 percent or more ownership in a company. Schilling had a nearly 83 percent stake in 38 Studios.
The EDC has since capped at $10 million the amount a single company can get under the “Job Creation Guaranty Program” – a common practice by states with incentive programs designed to spur job creation.
The Washington-based nonprofit good Jobs first, which tracks state and local economic development subsidies, says Rhode Island's massive award to 38 Studios runs contrary to the idea behind such programs, which is to spread the risk around. 38 Studios got 60 percent of the $125 million available in the program.
Barry Gilbert, of Boston-based Strategy Analytics, prepared a report for the EDC in 2010 assessing the video game market and the potential benefits and risks of the deal. it noted that 38 Studios' focus on a single game, code-named Copernicus, left “little wiggle room” and was analogous to an “all-in” hand.
Gilbert said he was surprised to learn the loan guarantee program had no caps.
That seemed to stem, Gilbert said, from desperation for economic development, paired with excitement over Schilling's involvement and a belief that “38 Studios was the guy that was going to carry the torch and bring them to the top of the mount.”
Erika Niedowski can be reached at http://twitter.com/eniedowski
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