E.J. McMahon

Senior Fellow

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.

Latest Work

#NYCoronavirus: While Governor Cuomo continues to press for a bigger all-purpose federal bailout of the coronavirus-clobbered state budget, New York State already has reaped $5.5 billion in added federal aid from two emergency stimulus bills enacted by Congress last month, according to a report issued today by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office. Read More

With the coronavirus lockdown continuing to erode tax revenues, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has turned up the volume on his demands for a federal bailout of the New York state budget. In a weekend briefing, the governor repeated his estimate that the Empire State will need help closing a deficit of $10 billion to $15 billion. “I don’t have any funding to do what I normally do,” he said. Read More

#NYcoronavirus: The outlook for New York's economy is the grimmest on record, according to the first post-pandemic lockdown round of credible economic surveys and forecasts. Start with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose regional economists today issued a notably pessimistic report based on their monthly Empire State Manufacturing Survey and a broader Business Leaders Survey that take sin the northern New Jersey and metropolitan New York. Read More

#NYCoronavirus: With this year's tax return filing date push postponed to mid-July in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Cuomo has revived his old complaints about the TCJA's $10,000 cap on itemized state and local tax (SALT) deductions. But under the circumstances—a crashing economy and exploding federal deficits—his case for restoring SALT is even weaker than it was before the crisis. Indeed, it verges on preposterous. Read More

#NYCoronavirus: The Cuomo administration is about to begin running up charges on that $11 billion credit card the Legislature handed the governor in the new budget. Under the budget's the Education, Labor and Family Assistance budget bill, Cuomo is authorized to borrow up to $11 billion this year in the form of up to $8 billion in bond anticipation notes (BANs) and $3 billion from “line of credit facilities and other similar revolving financing arrangements.” Read More

#NYCoronavirus: Governor Cuomo is invoking his "emergency" powers to unilaterally defer a 2 percent pay hike otherwise scheduled for most unionized state government workers during the new fiscal year. Read More

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Empire Center for Public Policy
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Phone: 518-434-3100
Fax: 518-434-3130
E-Mail: info@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.