Category: Commentary

New York City’s pension costs will reach nearly $8.8 billion in the coming 2016 fiscal year — more than double the 2006 level and nearly eight times the 2001 amount. Yet now, with a week to go in the state legislative session, Albany is poised to drive those costs even higher. Read More

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court struck down a desperately needed overhaul of that state’s massively underfunded pension system. The case has chilling implications for Albany as well as Springfield — and for New York City as well as Chicago. Read More

Few economic development initiatives in New York State’s history have been the subject of more marketing hype than START-UP NY, which created scores of tax-free micro-zones on and near college campuses around the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo has spared no superlatives in describing his expectations for the program, backing it with a slick, $47 million advertising campaign that touted START-UP as proof that “in New York State, we’re changing the way we do business.” But the results so far haven’t come close to living up to the governor’s rhetoric. Read More

The Southern Tier has been among the most poorly performing regions of a weak upstate New York economy over the past four years. But you sure wouldn’t know it from listening to Howard Zemsky, the Buffalo developer recently named by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to chair the Empire State Development Corp. Read More