Commentary

The push to overhaul New York's public authorities was kicked into higher gear this week by a package of "reform" proposals from state Comptroller Alan Hevesi and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. Read More

Where can a city turn for more cash when it already taxes practically everything that moves? The latest suggestions from New York's Independent Budget Office (IBO) point to gourmet coffee and cosmetic surgery, prompting well-earned snickers all around. Read More

Welfare reform was one of the big successes of the Giuliani years. Unfortunately, the city's welfare rolls are no longer steadily falling. What's more, other forms of public assistance have been steadily rising. Read More

Mayor Bloomberg's planned property-tax rebate for New York City homeowners won't provide the same economic boost as a permanent rate cut for all property taxpayers. But it sweeps $250 million off the budgetary table and away from the grasping hands of the municipal labor unions and City Council. Read More

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

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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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