The city of New York has been ordered to pay the legal costs and fees to the Empire Center for Public Policy in connection with the Center’s successful effort to obtain city payroll data under the state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Read More
New York state government has become addicted to more than $4 billion in taxes and surcharges that drive up healthcare costs, according to a new report from the Empire Center for Public Policy. Read More
New York’s state legislators would like a raise, but a review of state payroll data shows that more than three-quarters of them already earn more than their frequently cited $79,500 statutory base salary. Read More
Records of more than $2 billion in discretionary state government grants, doling out taxpayer dollars to more than 4,000 projects sponsored by local governments, schools, private businesses and non-profit groups across New York, were added today to the expansive online pork-barrel spending database at SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s government transparency website. Read More
The Empire Center's annual “Benchmarking New York” report compares and ranks government tax, spending and debt levels for hundreds of counties, towns, cities and villages throughout New York. Read More
New York’s Clean Energy Standard will cost ratepayers more than $3 billion during its first five years, but its effect on global carbon dioxide emissions will be minimal, according to a report released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy. Read More
Twenty-two percent of public school teachers and administrators in New York school districts outside New York City—including about half in the city’s suburbs—were paid more than $100,000 during the 2015-16 school year, according to data added today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More
The New York State Senate spent almost $2 million on “office furniture” during the six-month period ending March 31, according to the most recent legislative expenditure reports now searchable on SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Meanwhile, the New York State Assembly paid more than $900,000 for “printing equipment” for its taxpayer-funded print shop in which it, like the State Senate, produces campaign-style mail pieces. Each house’s multi-million dollar operation pays for the design, paper, printing and postage with taxpayer funds. Read More
Which upstate New York communities have the highest police pay by local and regional standards? The answer can be found in What They Make, the Empire Center’s annual examination of local government payrolls, which includes average total pay for uniformed police officers employed by 166 towns, cities and villages across upstate. Read More
The Empire Center today released the newest edition of What They Make, its annual examination of local government payrolls. “What They Make lets taxpayers see how their local governments’ payrolls stack up,” said Tim Hoefer, executive director of the Empire Center. “Big differences exist, even between neighboring communities, and taxpayers have a right to ask their elected officials why.” Read More
Just in time for the start of another school year, the Empire Center has updated its comprehensive SeeThroughNY database of teacher union contracts for school districts across New York State. Read More
The number of retirees receiving pensions over $100,000 from the New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) exceeded 3,000 for the first time during the system’s 2016 fiscal year, according to data uploaded today to SeeThroughNY, the Empire Center’s transparency website. Read More
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