Month: November 2011

“First get your facts,” Mark Twain once said, “and then you can distort them as much as you please.” Following Twain’s advice, State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) have unleashed a fresh set of purported “facts” about New York taxes, in response to my criticism last week of their call for higher state income taxes on households earning more than $1 million a year. Read More

As public pension costs continue to rise, straining municipal budgets to the breaking point, New York City Comptroller John Liu has emerged as a stalwart defender of the status quo. Liu doesn’t deny that tax-funded pension costs are exploding; instead, he says the traditional defined-benefit system offers “a better bang for the buck.” Read More

In a landmark case revolving around key provisions of New York’s Freedom of Information Law, the Empire Center is asking the state’s highest court to review lower-court rulings that would enable the New York City Police Pension Fund — and, potentially, the state’s other public pension systems, as well — to keep secret the names of retired employees receiving taxpayer-guaranteed pension benefits. Read More

New York’s state revenues are disproportionately generated in New York City and its suburbs, resulting in a net transfer of income to upstate, according to a report issued today by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government. Read More

It’s no surprise that some New York’s local governments are choosing to override the state’s new property tax cap. The real news is that the vast majority — so far — apparently are managing to live within it. 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.

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