Commentary

The Southern Tier has been among the most poorly performing regions of a weak upstate New York economy over the past four years. But you sure wouldn’t know it from listening to Howard Zemsky, the Buffalo developer recently named by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to chair the Empire State Development Corp. Read More

City workers who qualify for pensions are also eligible for lifetime health insurance coverage — a retirement benefit that has almost disappeared in the private sector. The estimated value of retiree health benefits promised to current and future city government pensioners is now roughly $90 billion, tipping the city’s overall financial balance sheet well into the red. Read More

At a time when New York is desperate to promote private-sector growth, one state agency seems bent on shutting down a thriving local business—which isn't accused of breaking a single New York state law. Read More

Cuomo’s record can’t be reduced to tax, spend, and tax some more. In fact, even as he was gaining national acclaim among Democrats for his attacks on the fiscal policies of President Ronald Reagan, Cuomo also approved personal income tax cuts that were downright Reaganesque. Read More

Who should ultimately control police discipline in New York: elected officials through their appointed police commissioners, or unelected labor arbitrators chosen in part by labor unions? The question has plainly picked up added resonance in recent days. Gov. Cuomo will soon have a chance to answer it. Read More

Four years ago, as Andrew Cuomo prepared to begin his first term as governor, the biggest problem facing New York state was how to close a $10 billion budget gap. This year, gearing up for his second term, Cuomo faces quite a different challenge: what to do with roughly $5 billion in extra cash. Read More

In his reelection campaign, Cuomo boasts that he has reduced taxes to their lowest level in decades. All three of the New York governors to seek at least a second term since 1978—Democrats Hugh Carey (1975–82) and Mario Cuomo (1983–94) and Republican George Pataki (1995–2006)—also ran for reelection as tax cutters, though all three did more to reduce state taxes than Andrew Cuomo has done, at least so far. 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.