Month: May 2012

Governor Andrew Cuomo floated quite a few dubious ideas in his State of the State address yesterday, a couple of which are the subject of my Newsday column today—but the most dubious proposal of all came from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in his own brief remarks before the governor spoke. Read More

Employment and wage growth between March 2011 and March 2012 was below the national average in most of New York’s largest counties, according to the quarterly census of employment and wages released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics... Read More

While New York State’s new property tax cap has a starting point of 2 percent (or the prior year’s average inflation rate, whichever is less), it will vary from school district to school district based on a series of exclusions for capital expenditures, increases in pension costs, and physical additions to the district tax base... Read More

New York State’s Common Retirement Fund, which underwrites state and local pensions, returned a negative 0.92 percent on its assets during the quarter ending June 30, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli just announced. That would translate into a loss of about $1.2 billion on an asset base of roughly $148 billion. Read More

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has jumped on the bandwagon in favor of raising New York City’s top resident income tax rate — just a day after two undeclared 2013 mayoral candidates, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and then-City Comptroller William Thompson stepped (somewhat gingerly) off it. Read More

The growing fiscal problems of many local governments in New York State are prompting more talk about consolidation of services and mergers of local governments. Some influential voices in western New York, echoing former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, continue to push for a regional approach. Read More

Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) has just introduced a bill (A.10676) that would exclude court-ordered tax certiorari refund payments from Nassau County school district tax levy limits under the state’s property tax cap. It’s the same measure introduced in the Senate a month ago by Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola). Read More

Well, what do you know? Seventy-one percent of public school teachers in New York think new teachers should be able to choose between a traditional defined-benefit pension and a defined-contribution (DC) plan, like the one available to State University of New York (SUNY) professors for nearly 50 years, according to a poll the Empire Center poll released today... 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.