Commentary

New York’s public-pension system has become the epicenter of an influence-peddling scandal that has attracted the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the state’s attorney general. Read More

Faced with a $6 billion budget gap, New York state desperately needs to stretch taxpayer dollars and do more with less. One of the prime solutions can be summed up in a single word all too rarely found in Albany's bureaucratic lexicon: competition. Read More

The unexpected surge in the third-quarter GDP is wonderful news for the national economy, all right. But don't read too much into it - yet - as far as New York State and City are concerned. Read More

The cost of living in New York City is 240 percent of the national average, according to one recent estimate. That's not just the highest in the country. It's nearly twice as high as the next most expensive metro areas (Boston and Washington, D.C, in that order). Read More

Despite the rebound on Wall Street, New York City's fiscal problems are far from over. Even after two years of belt-tightening, city spending continues to grow at twice the rate of inflation. With unions stonewalling requests for contract concessions a city budget gap of $2 billion to $3 billion looms in the year ahead. In short, recent talk in City Hall of rolling back tax hikes was just that--talk. Read More

Under cover of the summer doldrums, Mayor Bloomberg's budget staff is feverishly putting the finishing touches on one of the biggest bonding boondoggles in New York State's history. Read More

Michael Bloomberg's first year as mayor of New York City produced decidedly mixed results, measured against the long-term statistical trends. Read More

After a winter and spring filled with budgetary "doomsday" talk in City Hall, New York's latest fiscal crisis has been interrupted by an eerie, eye-of-the-storm calm. In the space of two months, Mayor Bloomberg's demands for union concessions and program cuts gave way to unilateral budget restorations and celebratory photo ops with City Council leaders. Read More

If you earn enough to be affected by New York’s state and city income tax hikes but believe you will escape the brunt of the increases — that they will fall most heavily on the ultra-rich — think again. Read More

Conventional wisdom in public-finance circles for many years encouraged state governments to increase their reliance on personal income taxes. After all, the academic experts would point out, personal income is less volatile than corporate profits and tends to grow faster than retail sales. Read More

In an era of steeply progressive taxation, New York state's formulas for aid to local governments inevitably have a Robin Hood effect - redistributing income from the relatively wealthy New York City metropolitan area to relatively poorer regions north of the Bear Mountain Bridge. Read More

The state Legislature's latest aid package didn't really do New York City many favors. Sure, Mayor Bloomberg got most of the state funding he was looking for--but some of that money is likely to vaporize next year, when the state will almost certainly be broke again. 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.