Commentary

So it’s unanimous: All five of the leading prospective Democratic candidates for mayor are now on record in support of raising New York City’s top income tax rate. Read More

Residents of the metropolitan area pay some of the highest energy prices in the nation -- fully 50 percent above the national average for electricity and 21 percent above average for natural gas, according to the latest federal data. Unfortunately, the situation is only likely to get worse in years ahead, thanks in part to New York State energy policy that seems grounded mainly in wishful thinking. Read More

Back in 2005, a Suffolk County grand jury was convened to investigate waste, fraud and fiscal mismanagement in Suffolk's public schools. Among its key findings was "an abject lack of transparency" regarding the area where school districts spend the vast bulk of their funds: salaries and benefits. Read More

It’s no secret that skyrocketing public pension costs are putting tremendous pressure on state and local budgets in New York and across the country. But taxpayers also face another enormous liability: retiree health-care costs. Read More

By lopping two years off a tentative decade-long contract withSuffolk County's police union, County Executive Steve Bellone at least has curtailed some of the long-term financial risk the original agreement posed to taxpayers. Read More

The Obama administration quietly issued a new waiver last month that allows states to change the rules of how success is measured in welfare reform. Read More

The closing bell on Wall Street last Friday also marked the end of the fiscal year for many public pension funds across the country, including the New York State Teachers' Retirement System (NYSTRS), which finances pensions promised to 420,000 active and retired professional educators working mainly for school districts outside New York City. 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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