Commentary

This week’s US Supreme Court ruling in Janus v. AFSCME was not unexpected — and neither was the agitated, high-volume reaction from Gov. Cuomo and the public-sector union bosses who are his strongest political allies. Read More

As a 19th-century Manhattan politician once observed, “no man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” Some things never change. On balance, New Yorkers would probably be better off if this year’s legislative session ended ahead of its scheduled June 21 adjournment. Read More

Molinaro’s rhetoric made it all sound obvious — and easy. In fact, New York faces real financial constraints that’ll limit options for whoever occupies the governor’s office starting next January. Read More

Among New York school districts with enrollments of 4,000 or more, the list of highest property taxes per pupil is what you’d expect — topped by Great Neck, Scarsdale, Syosset and Bedford. In fifth place is a somewhat less wealthy outlier: the Northport-East Northport district. It will raise $28,556 per pupil in property taxes next year, based on data from the state’s 2018-19 Property Tax Report Card. That’s 57 percent above the Suffolk County average. Read More

The newly revealed federal probe of Crystal Run Healthcare, a large doctors group in the Hudson Valley, fits a common pattern with Albany scandals: It's not just about bad behavior but also bad policy. Read More

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed a bill making it harder for government workers to escape labor unions, he said it was just “the first step of the resistance.” Translation: It wasn’t the last favor Cuomo hopes to do for New York’s powerful public-sector unions in anticipation of the coming US Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which could void state laws compelling government workers to pay dues-like agency fees to unions they choose not to join. Read More

Cuomo has further boosted the state’s already heavy reliance on taxes paid by income millionaires. This has made Albany’s revenue base more fragile and volatile — a problem aggravated by the new federal cap on state and local tax deductions, which effectively raises total tax rates for New York’s highest earners. Read More

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday in Janus v. AFSCME, a constitutional challenge to the dues-like union fees many state and local government workers must now pay. The outcome could shake the foundations of public-sector union power across the nation—especially in New York. 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.