Press Releases

The complete 2013 fiscal year New York City payroll, which includes names and salaries for more than 475,000 full- and part-time employees, is now posted on, the Empire Center for Public Policy’s government spending transparency website. Read More

New York’s estate tax will hit a growing number of middle-class households, small business owners and farmers, and is needlessly hindering economic growth while giving the state’s wealthiest households an added incentive to migrate, according to a report released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy. Read More

New labor contracts for 52 teachers’ unions and 104 school superintendents, ratified since July 1, 2013, are now available on, the Empire Center’s government transparency website, which is home to the most complete public collection of collectively-bargained school district contracts in the state. Read More

New York’s State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process needs to be reformed to reduce costly delays in the process for approving development projects, according to a report released today by the Empire Center for Public Policy. “SEQR adds an unnecessary layer of red tape to environmental regulations and local land-use laws, discouraging development that New York needs to promote a strong and growing economy,” said E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center, who co-authored the report with Michael Wright, a senior policy analyst at the Albany-based policy research organization. Read More

The Empire Center for Public Policy, a non-partisan think tank based in Albany, has added two staff members, the Center’s president, Edmund J. McMahon, today announced. Kimberlee Peabody will join the Empire Center as development manager, overseeing and implementing the organization’s fund-raising plans. David Lombardo will be the Empire Center’s communications manager, working on special research projects and providing general editorial support as well as handling media relations. Read More

The Empire Center’s Explore Your State Budget app has been updated to reflect the state’s mid-year financial report for fiscal 2014. This online database of New York state budget information, which is accessible through the Center’s SeeThroughNY website, includes actual results, estimates and projections for major spending and tax categories from 2012 until fiscal 2017. Additionally, the tool contains annual disbursements dating back to 1984 and tax receipts since 1976. Read More

Governor Cuomo has projected that maintaining a 2 percent cap on annual growth in state expenditures could lead to a budget surplus of up to $2.9 billion by fiscal year 2017. The key question, in his words, is “how do you use this period of growth to actually increase the economic competitiveness of the state of New York?” Based on our analysis of New York’s state and local tax structure, that question could be answered by addressing the following five initial tax policy priorities, which would not only make New York more business-friendly, but would reduce the high tax burden on all New York residents Read More

New York's State Legislature spent over $102 million during the six-month period ending last March, according to the latest legislative expenditure data posted at SeeThroughNY. The expenditure information, which goes back to 2007, can be sorted by reporting period, expenditure type, and member name. Users can also isolate spending for individual units of the Legislature's central staff. Read More