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A few thoughts on the late-breaking Albany deal to pass the so-called , now stalled for good reason in the Senate after passing in the Assembly: Not for the first time, some of New York's well-meaning are being suckered by a bill title.  Like most Read More

New York's judges haven't gotten a pay raise in nearly 12 years, but some are taking advantage of a legal loophole allowing them to continue to draw their salaries while collecting a pension. For example, 68-year-old State Supreme Court Justice Or Read More

Some awful ideas just keep turning up. Take, for example, the old state and city stock transfer tax.  The last vestiges of the tax were effectively phased out in 1981, although technically survives due to a weird tax law quirk whose repeal has b Read More

Comptroller Bill Thompson just released a quarterly staff with some good economic and fiscal data for New York City. Personal income tax withheld were down 7.2 percent in the third quarter (which ended in September) relative to the Read More

held a good debate last night on whether or not President Obama's economic policies are working. The participants -- three for the president's policies, three against -- focused a big part of their discussion on what the White House has done about Read More

Just how ephemeral is Wall Street's "recovery"? State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli notes in today's that securities firms' profits are reaching record highs, because "the sharp decline in interest expenses (to $5 billion in the second quarter of 2 Read More

The market value of assets in New York State's Common Retirement System increased by 18.3 percent during the first half of the 2009-10 fiscal year, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced today.   That brings the total fund value to $126 billion — Read More

"Wall Street Recovering Faster Than Anticipated" is the headline on today's press release from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office, heralding a that points to potential record-breaking profitability and lower-than-expected employment losses a Read More

Senate Democrats are "secretly considering" up to $1 billion in "new taxes on medical services" as an alternative to health care spending cuts in Governor Paterson's deficit reduction plan, according to in today's New York Post. Such a t Read More

Four days after proposing to slash the salaries of 350 Harrison town employees by 20 percent, Supervisor Joan Walsh was re-elected supervisor by voters in the affluent Westchester County suburb. With the town facing a budget gap between $3.3 milli Read More

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) a major settlement with J.P. Morgan Securities concerning the fascinating municipal-corruption case of Jefferson County, Alabama. Under the deal, J.P. Morgan, which doesn't admit or deny any Read More

In their weekly outlook, Municipal Market Advisors (MMA) tries to dampen the hysteria over a "coming municipal market collapse," saying that although "state and local credit quality is undeniably getting worse," we're unlikely to see mass-scale muni 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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