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The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS) has just informed school districts across the state that their teacher pension contribution rates for the 2013-14 school year will rise from the current 11.84 percent to between 15.5 and 16.5 percent of salaries — which would translate into an additional taxpayer costs totaling $539 million to $686 million, based on the latest available teacher payroll figures. Read More

In a battle going back 15 years, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has pledged to reduce Medicaid reimbursements to New York for the state's developmentally disabled centers by as much as 80 percent. Daily rates per patient at the facilities had jumped from just over $1,700 in 1999 to over $5,100 by 2011. Read More

The combined state and local tax burden on New York residents in 2010, the year before Governor Andrew Cuomo took office, reached its highest level since 1994, the last year his father held the same office, as measured by data released today by the Tax Foundation... Read More

If you ever find yourself wondering why some of the infrastructure in America’s largest and richest city seems so inadequate, you need look no farther than the southern tip of Manhattan for part of the answer. Read More

Given the Legislature's reputation for secrecy and scandals, Governor Cuomo is absolutely right to want it to open up its processes to public scrutiny -- in fact we've been saying the same thing for some years now. It would take little more than deleting four words from the Freedom of Information Law. Read More

“The first casualty of war is always the truth,” Winston Churchill observed. The same might be said of political battles. Around New York in this campaign season, incumbent state legislators in both parties have been bending facts into pretzels when they discuss their recent records on state taxes, in particular. Read More

State regulations to allow natural gas hydrofracking in New York’sdepressed Southern Tier region are being held up by Governor Cuomo, who says he wants more study of the health effects of fracking. Read More

New York’s rising unemployment rate is “presenting a challenge for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as he tries to build an image as a fiscal centrist who can transform the state’s business climate,” today’s New York Times reports. Read More

Wall Street, the goose that laid golden eggs for New York’s public sector for more than 25 years before the Great Recession, is “still working through the fallout from the financial crisis,” as Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reported earlier this week... Read More

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has jumped on the bandwagon in favor of raising New York City’s top resident income tax rate — just a day after two undeclared 2013 mayoral candidates, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and then-City Comptroller William Thompson stepped (somewhat gingerly) off it. 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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