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With the City of White Plains facing a potential 23.5 percent tax hike, you might expect bold action to curb health care costs. Instead city politicians took a timid approach likely to produce small savings this year. Currently, city employees con Read More

The MTA's Jay Walder deserves great credit for standing firm against the transit "advocates" and elected officials who would like him to devote up to $160 million in capital-investment funds for short-term operating expenses, including rising union-l Read More

Moody's has on $12.2 billion worth of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s debt, in part because money from the new $1.5 billion downstate payroll tax continues to fall far short of what the state expected. That tax gap was $200 millio Read More

"Changes in the timing and structure of financial services sector compensation, which have resulted in lower than expected personal income tax [PIT] revenues" led to a $1 billion state PIT shortfall in January, which in turn has helped add $750 milli Read More

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley "is looking to lure employers from Oregon after that state's voters approved a huge tax increase last week," the Wall Street Journal . The tax hike in Oregon "will help our economic development immedi Read More

For every $100, the state of New York spends on employee salaries, it now spends another $44 on benefits. That figure will jump to $62 dollars in three years, according to the budget division. As the New York Post : The Read More

In testimony to Albany's Joint Legislative Fiscal Committees, E.J. reminded lawmakers why he's giving them the following counsel: "First, do not add any more to the state's tax burden." A excerpt to remind Albany that we've already Read More

As part of the White House's $3.8 trillion 2011 , President Obama has proposed making the "Build America Bonds" program permanent. Build America Bonds have offered states and localities a quick fix since Washington created them in the stimulus packa Read More

When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says Governor Paterson's proposed budget will force him to lay off nearly 12,000 city employees, he appears to ignore his role of negotiating 4 percent employees raises during a recession. Expect similar Read More

Nicole dissects Mayor Bloomberg's preliminary 2011 budget in .   Her key point: while news coverage of what the Times as a "grim budget" has concentrated heavily on the mayor's proposed cuts, Bloomberg actually is relying much more heavil Read More

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign scored some good points with the Transport Workers Union this week, for taking $50 million and "putting [it] into their capital budget -- money that is desperately needed to keep trains and buses running. 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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