E.J. McMahon

Senior Fellow and Founder

Edmund J. McMahon is the Empire Center’s founder and a senior fellow.

McMahon’s writing and research focuses on improving New York’s economic competitiveness and promoting greater transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility in state and local government. He has authored or co-authored major studies on public pension reform, collective bargaining, population migration, budget trends and tax policy in New York. His influential “Blueprint for a Better Budget,” published in January 2010, featured a number of recommendations subsequently implemented under Governors David Paterson and Andrew Cuomo. McMahon also was a leading advocate of an across-the-board cap on property taxes in New York before it was enacted at Governor Cuomo’s initiative in 2011.

McMahon has published numerous articles and essays in publications including the Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesBarron’s, the Public Interest, the New York Post, the New York Daily NewsNewsday and the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. His frequent radio and TV interviews have included appearances on CNBC, Fox News Channel and Bloomberg News, as well as on regional cable and broadcast outlets throughout New York State.

McMahon’s professional background includes nearly 30 years as an Albany-based analyst and close observer of New York State government. As chief fiscal advisor to the Assembly Republican Conference in the early 1990s, he drafted a personal income tax reform plan that would become the basis for historic tax cuts enacted under Governor George E. Pataki. Previously, as research director of the Public Policy Institute, he worked on the Institute’s counter-budget proposals and developed the template for New York’s school report cards. He also served as a deputy commissioner in the state Department of Taxation and Finance and as a vice chancellor of the State University of New York.

McMahon is also an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, which he joined in June 2000. In January 2005, he opened the Institute’s Albany-based Empire Center project, which became an independent nonprofit think tank in 2013. He was the Empire Center’s first president and became research director in the fall of 2016.

Earlier in his career, he was a staff writer and columnist for the Albany Times Union and The Knickerbocker News.

McMahon is a graduate of Villanova University.

  • Ext: 1

Latest Work

Governor Cuomo's budget proposal includes more than $1.5 billion in automatic income tax hikes, affecting many of the same people who have the most to lose from the new federal limits on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. Read More

For the time being, at least, Governor Cuomo's 2018-19 Executive Budget left a pile of loose ends in the state tax code. With one notable exception, the initial version of the budget doesn't address any of the myriad corporate and personal income tax (PIT) conformance issues raised by passage of the new federal tax law. Instead, those issues are to be explored in a study released by the Department of Taxation and Finance, for consideration during the 30-day amendment period. Read More

State Senate Republicans today issued a "Blueprint for a Stronger New York" that combines a few solid big-picture tax reduction priorities with more of the wasteful "tax relief" gimmickry that's become a standard feature of the Senate GOP tax policy agenda in recent years. Read More

The governor said he’d explore the feasiblity of “a major shift” of New York’s state tax burden from individuals (who will be losing federal deductions) to businesses (which will be keeping them), via a new statewide payroll tax on employers. The idea might sound plausible on the surface. But on closer inspection, replacing even part of New York’s personal income tax (PIT) with a payroll tax would be fraught with mind-bending complications — and not very feasible at all. Read More

Now that the feds have limited the state and local tax (SALT) deduction for individuals, should New York's no-longer-fully-deductible personal income tax (PIT) be converted into an employer payroll tax? Read More

New York homeowners lining up to prepay property taxes in order to reduce their federal income taxes will also be in line for a temporary added cut in their 2017 state personal income tax. As a result, however, the prepayment phenomenon will also at least slightly erode the state government's already sagging income tax receipts in the current fiscal year—while making many of the same homeowners liable for at least a small tax hike in 2018.The rush to prepay local property taxes before the end of 2017, encouraged by Governor Cuomo in reaction to federal reform, will have some unintended consequences. Read More

Governor Andrew Cuomo is ending the year on a strong pro-taxpayer note, vetoing union-backed legislation that would have blocked the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority from imposing pay freezes to balance the county budget. Read More

Subscribe

Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries: Info@EmpireCenter.org

Press Inquiries: Press@EmpireCenter.org

About

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.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!