In Mario Cuomo's last year as governor, New Yorkers' combined state and local tax burden was 13.7 percent of their income—fully 3.2 percentage points above the national average, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. As of 2005, the Tax Foundation estimates, the Empire State's combined tax burden is down to 12 percent—1.9 percentage points above the national average. Read More

In a budget " cleanup bill" they adopted before adjourning two weeks ago, state legislators effectively plunked about $1 billion worth of rum soaked cherries on what was already a massive New York style cheesecake of fiscal excess. Read More

Some of the more ballyhooed changes are so small they may escape a typical taxpayer's notice. For example, if your family owns two cars and drives a lot, the repeal of sales taxes on gasoline purchases over $2 per gallon may save you a whopping $30 over the course of a year. Read More

As the state's 2006 legislative session winds down, it appears Senate lawmakers won't vote on a proposed bill that would require large companies to provide comprehensive health care benefits to their workers. Read More

Mayor Bloomberg has opened negotiations with the city's largest union by asking for pension concessions like those rejected by transit workers before their walkout in December. Read More

New York state's 2006-07 budget features a record $1.3 billion increase in support for K-12 public education. State school aid is up 8 percent from the previous year, boosting the total to an all-time high of $17.6 billion. Read More

State legislators will return to the Capitol this week to confront the more than 200 budget vetoes handed down by Gov. George Pataki before their Passover-Easter recess. Read More

Based on recent history, Albany's legislative leaders had reason to assume Gov. Pataki wouldn't put up much of a fight when they added billions of dollars to his already generous budget plan for the 2006-07 fiscal year. Read More

A healthy debate is now raging in Washington, D.C., over the use of congressional "earmarks" to spend pork barrel money out of federal budget appropriations. Conservatives and liberals alike agree that the practice is wasteful and should be eliminated or severely curtailed. Read More

Last week's appeals-court ruling in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE) case leaves a murky picture even murkier. This is what happens when courts meddle where they don't belong. Read More