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Public school finance will be one of the most hotly contested battlegrounds in New York's coming state budget war.  From last June's of the Governor's (aka the Suozzi Commission), here is a reminder of one key factor driving up local school costs: Read More

In today's Times on the reaction of municipal labor unions to possible budget-cutting strategies, UFT President Randi Weingarten argues against any reform of generous pension benefits for municipal employees: “Here we have a s Read More

As a postscript to Nicole’s most recent post, which focused on New York City, it should be noted that New York’s state government doesn't immediately face a California-style cash crunch, either. The state stopped issuing short-term notes Read More

California may have to ask the federal government for a $7 billion loan by the end of the month just to pay for basic services like police and firefighting, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last Thursday. New York City readers may have shuddered, as the r Read More

Just belatedly realized something in crunching the equity- and debt-underwriting numbers: Between 2005 and 2007, American financial institutions produced $5.4 trillion worth of mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities not Read More

As E.J. notes in the post below this one, Gov. Paterson says he thinks Wall Street bonuses could be down as much as 60 percent, higher than his budget office's expected 43 percent decline. To put this estimate in perspective: after the tech bubble Read More

After wavering on the issue in recent weeks, Governor Paterson today seemed to rule out tax increases as part of the solution to the state's growing budget problem -- at least for the next 18 months. "I don't think there should be any taxes at thi Read More

As shown below, the highest-earning 1 percent of taxpayers (those with incomes above $750,000 or so as of 2007) accounted for nearly 40 percent of New York's total state income tax liability last year -- up from around 27 percent in the mid-1990s.  Read More

As shown below, the highest-earning 1 percent of taxpayers (those with incomes above $750,000 or so as of 2007) accounted for nearly 40 percent of New York's total state income tax liability last year -- up from around 27 percent in the mid-1990s.  Read More

New York is twice impacted by the collapsing world of complex finance: first for the obvious reason and second because in recent years, it has structured much of its own $54 billion in debt in a way that makes the city more acutely vulnerable to int Read More

The stock market is in the process of recovering roughly half of yesterday's losses based on investor hope that the financial bailout bill will be revived in Congress.  But Nicole's in today's Post argues that the bailout, whenever it's passed, "co Read More

The of 's FDIC-brokered purchase of Wachovia point up some long-term implications for New York's economy. Specifically, in return for shouldering $270 billion in potential losses at Wachovia's property-related assets that would otherwise be Citi 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.