Commentary

It's no secret that Republicans will be venturing into enemy territory next week when they gather in the heart of the Big Apple to renominate President Bush. Yet residents of New York — state and city — have been huge winners under the Republican president's economic policies. By the same token, New Yorkers would be big losers under the tax proposals of the Democratic candidate, Sen. John Kerry. Read More

A court-imposed dead line for changing New York state's school fund ing formula will probably come and go in the next two weeks, without any agreed-upon response from Gov. Pataki and legislative leaders in Albany. At that point, it will be up to state Supreme Court Justice Leland DeGrasse — and, by extension, the appellate courts above him — to decide what needs to be done to ensure a "sound basic education" for all New York City students. Read More

Thanks to state budget gridlock in Albany, New York City homeowners will have to wait at least a little longer for Mayor Bloomberg's $400 property tax rebate. Read More

New York City has finally wriggled off the hook for what's left of that ‘70s debt. Under last week's ruling by the state's highest court, $2 billion the city was obligated to pay the Municipal Assistance Corp. (MAC) over the next four years will be transformed into roughly $5 billion in state payments to yet another financing entity over the next 30 years. Read More

Even as the economic outlook brightens, New York City's long-term budget picture is deteriorating. And, aside from pointing fingers at Albany, Mayor Bloomberg seems to have few new ideas for dealing with the problem. Read More

San Diego's $1.1 billion pension fund deficit has been blamed on deliberate underfunding of the city employees' pension system, compounded by costly benefit enhancements for city retirees. But San Diego is hardly the only government employer with a big pension headache these days. Read More

Seeking to divert attention from their failure to adopt a budget on time for the 20th consecutive year, state legislative leaders have unveiled a budget reform package that will do little to fix New York's dysfunctional budget process. In many respects, it could actually make things much worse. Read More

New York state legislative leaders reportedly are still optimistic that they can produce an on-time budget for the first time in two decades. This, says state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, "would be a tremendous achievement." Read More

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