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With school property taxes continuing to rise across New York State, Albany's leading Republicans are pushing for a major expansion of the STAR (School Tax Relief) program in the next state budget. But more STAR spending will do nothing to reduce New York's oppressive state and local tax burden. Instead, it will promote faster growth in school spending and property tax levies unless it is tied to a firm cap on school district budgets or taxes. Read More

With school property taxes continuing to rise across New York State, Albany's leading Republicans are pushing for a major expansion of the STAR (School Tax Relief) program in the next state budget. But more STAR spending will do nothing to reduce New York's oppressive state and local tax burden. Instead, it will promote faster growth in school spending and property tax levies unless it is tied to a firm cap on school district budgets or taxes. Read More

In a single recent 12-month period, the state's largest teachers' union spent $150 million on itself, according to a new study by the Foundation for Education Reform & Accountability. FERA understandably found it hard to resist linking the "lavish" spending habits of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) with the union's perennial demand for more state education spending. Read More

The employer share of pension contributions in New York has risen by more than $3 billion in the last five years, straining taxpayers throughout the state. Yet state legislators this year have passed dozens of bills—and introduced literally hundreds of others—that would further expand the already generous retirement benefits of government workers. Read More

New York State and New York City were pushing the envelope on "public use" condemnations of private property to benefit other private owners even before the practice was ratified in a controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision last week. The Kelo ruling provides more than enough justification for a careful reconsideration of eminent domain and its uses by the UDC and other government agencies in New York. Will any of our elected officials take the hint? Stay tuned. Read More

With little advance notice or fanfare, a constitutional amendment (S.1) that would give the Legislature much more power to shape the state budget was reported out of the Senate Finance Committee today. The Assembly version (A.2) was approved back in February, so the measure is now a big step closer to a statewide voter referendum. Read More

New York State spending has increased faster during the four fiscal years since the latest economic downturn began in 2001 than during a comparable recession and recovery period in the early 1990s. Read More

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About

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.