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The last update to New York State’s financial plan, issued in early November, projected state operating funds budget gaps as far as the eye could see. Nothing new there: out-year projected shortfalls have been a feature of state budgets in New York since the current accounting system was enacted 30 years ago, and Governor Cuomo could accurately argue the gaps have gotten smaller on his watch. Read More

Rising debts and liabilities for pensions and retiree health care could soon translate into higher borrowing costs for at least nine New York local governments, including a half dozen of the largest counties and towns in the state. They’re facing possible bond rating downgrades as part of a nationwide review of local ratings by Moody’s Investors Service. Read More

Public subsidies of sports arenas, stadiums and ballparks “cannot be justified on the grounds of local economic development, income growth or job creation, those arguments most frequently used by subsidy advocates.” Read More

A full year after the official start of construction on a replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge, Governor Cuomo still isn’t leveling with New Yorkers on how he will pay for the $4 billion project, Nicole Gelinas and I write in a New York Post op-ed today. Read More

When Gov. Cuomo won passage of what he described as a “historic” and “transformational” budget early in his tenure, one of the key details he touted was the enactment of a permanent state law capping annual increases in school aid to the rate of growth in personal income. Read More

New York’s monthly employment data continue to show a striking regional divergence in job-creation trends. According to today’s Labor Department report, as of November, year-to-year statewide private sector employment growth in New York slightly trailed the national average — with the economic weakness concentrated in upstate New York. Read More

Based on inflation trends through the first 11 months of 2013, it looks like the starting point for property tax levy caps affecting 2014-15 school budgets across New York will be lower than 2 percent. Read More

Governor Cuomo’s method of unveiling economic development “awards” is certainly a triumph of branding, hype and stagecraft, complete with special guest emcee Maria Bartiromo. 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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