Category: Commentary

Four years ago, as Andrew Cuomo prepared to begin his first term as governor, the biggest problem facing New York state was how to close a $10 billion budget gap. This year, gearing up for his second term, Cuomo faces quite a different challenge: what to do with roughly $5 billion in extra cash. Read More

In his reelection campaign, Cuomo boasts that he has reduced taxes to their lowest level in decades. All three of the New York governors to seek at least a second term since 1978—Democrats Hugh Carey (1975–82) and Mario Cuomo (1983–94) and Republican George Pataki (1995–2006)—also ran for reelection as tax cutters, though all three did more to reduce state taxes than Andrew Cuomo has done, at least so far. Read More

On Election Day, New York voters will be asked to let the state borrow up to $2 billion to help public schools buy computer hardware they don’t urgently need and create space for pre-kindergarten programs that most districts outside New York City can’t afford. Read More

No matter how much the left wants to expand government, no matter how much the right wants to cut taxes, both ought to observe a fundamental rule of government spending: Never use one-shot revenues to fund recurring operating expenses. Read More

New York will reap a state budget windfall of at least $3.3 billion in fines paid by the big French bank BNP Paribas after it pleaded guilty recently to violating sanctions against transactions in Cuba, Sudan and Iran. So, how should the money be spent? 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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