Media Coverage

New York’s coming stealth tax hikes | New York Post Editorial

Hard up for cash, Gov. Cuomo is trying to sneak through a $1.5 billion “stealth” income-tax hike — on top of $1 billion in other tax bumps.

As Empire Center fiscal expert E.J. McMahon notes, key parts of New York’s tax law are pegged to the federal model, which changed sharply last month. Yet Cuomo isn’t calling for simple fixes in state law to protect New York taxpayers from paying more. [Read_more]

Restructuring NY’s Taxes Sounds Good. Now for the Details. | The New York Times

For Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the idea must seem like sweet payback for the pains inflicted on his state by the new federal tax plan: an elegant workaround whereby New York could replace its state income tax with a payroll tax and leave Washington, not Albany, on the hook for billions of dollars in lost revenue.

But like so many white-paper plans, the proposal — while still in its larval stage — is already running headlong into a barrage of practical questions about how precisely such a switcheroo might work.

“The more you think about this,” said E.J. McMahon, a conservative economist and founder of the Empire Center for Public Policy, “the more it makes your head spin.” [Read_more]

How lawsuit-friendly laws suck NY dry | New York Post Editorial

Wonder why New York pays through the nose for everything from health care to construction projects to auto insurance — and taxes? A new report from the Empire Center has a one-word answer: lawsuits. [Read_more]

This is how the U.S. has become a Medicaid nation | USA Today

Bill Hammond, director of health policy of the fiscally conservative Empire Center for Public Policy in Albany, N.Y., said Medicaid has been a big help for those it was designed to cover — children and the disabled. But it has grown so big that the cost hurts state efforts to pay for other necessary public services, such as education and roads. “I can’t think of any other anti-poverty program that reaches so many people. … It’s too expensive a benefit.”

“We need to transition people to get coverage in the private sector,” he said, noting how millions on the program have incomes above the federal poverty level. [Read_more]

Comptroller, analyst predict growing state deficit | Newsday

Although Cuomo has said in recent weeks that he anticipates a $4 billion deficit in the coming fiscal year, E.J. McMahon of the fiscally conservative Empire Center think tank said DiNapoli’s updated estimates could indicate a shortfall of as much as $6.8 billion. The current budget totals $163 billion including federal aid.

“The comptroller’s new estimate boosts the shortfall to $6.8 billion, by far the biggest prospective blob of red ink on Albany’s books since Cuomo took office,” McMahon said. [Read_more]

What the Republican tax plan means for New Yorkers | Albany Business Review

E.J. McMahon, research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative research group in Albany, said earlier this week eliminating the state and local income tax deduction would hurt New York.

"From the state budget standpoint, still, if they repeal the income tax deduction, that is a huge threat to New York more than any other state to our tax base, and that's because the state has become dangerously over-reliant on taxes paid by the highest-earning 1 percent," McMahon said. [Read_more]

Good business or corporate welfare? | The Daily Gazette

“There should be a way to make this happen without giving away the store,” said E.J. McMahon, research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, an Albany think tank that advocates for smart-government and free-market policies. [Read_more]
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