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Public schools in New York are awfully expensive, and their costs continue to rise at a pace that taxpayers can't afford. So how can schools cope with a needed reduction in state aid? Governor Andrew Cuomo has a simple and blunt prescription: "less... Read More

"NYC Government Workers Paid Less Than Private Sector Peers," is the headline on today's press release from Comptroller John Liu's office. But the truth is actually much more complex and "difficult to generalize," as the study in question acknowledges... Read More

New York motorists afflicted with fuel pump sticker shock might take some consolation from this handy Empire Center Data Bank chart, indicating that the $3.70 average price of regular gasoline in the Empire State is only fifth highest in the country. Read More

Should New York's temporary personal income tax hike on high-income households be extended beyond its scheduled expiration at the end of this year? Former state Assemblyman Richard Brodsky and I took opposite sides on this question in a segment on... Read More

That's the argument in this provocative City Journal essay by D.J. Jaffe, who says the "skewed priorities" of the state Office of Mental Health are actually preventing the delivery of adequate care to the most seriously mentally ill. Jaffe warns that... Read More

Governor Cuomo proposed a cap on Superintendent salaries earlier this week, but as it relates to bringing school district spending down, it’s the equivalent of trying to chop down a tree with nail clippers. Read More

Although his proposed property tax cap will put pressure on counties, municipalities and schools to reduce their costs, Gov. Cuomo has punted the related issue of mandate relief to a "redesign team" comprised of stakeholders including representatives... Read More

States are finding it more difficult to accurately predict their revenues--and "the biggest culprit" is an increasing reliance on personal income taxes, according to a new report from the Pew Center on the States and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute... Read More

Gov. Cuomo's proposed 2 percent property tax cap could only be overridden by a super-majority of more than 60 percent of school district voters. Would this pose an insurmountable obstacle to supporters of higher taxes, starving schools of desperately needed funding? Cap opponents such as New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) imply as much, asserting in recent Senate testimony that the 60 percent override threshold... Read More

In today's Times, Mayor Bloomberg says that state governments don't need to curtail bargaining rights for public workers' unions. Instead, states just need to bargain better -- and give localities the authority to bargain better, too -- to protect the... Read More

A $100 million expansion of the the state's Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) surcharge is among the latest additions to a list of (so far) several hundred "redesign proposals" under consideration by Governor Cuomo's Medicaid Redesign Team. The proposal... Read More

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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