Category: Commentary

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

Skyrocketing public-pension obligations have generated concern across the country, especially in the wake of high-profile bankruptcies of Detroit and Stockton, Calif. In New York, an even larger burden looms in the form of lifetime health-insurance coverage promised to state and local government employees. Yet at least one house of the Legislature is considering a bill that would effectively prevent any effort to reduce this unaffordable debt. Read More

From New York’s standpoint, the best that can be said of last week’s federal tax hike is that it could’ve been worse. Taxes on the wealthy went up, but “wealthy” was defined as an adjusted gross income starting around $500,000 for married couples, instead of at the $250,000 level favored by President Obama. At least 150,000 New York state households, including small business owners, were thus let off the rate-hike hook — for now, at least. Read More

Cuomo has, indeed, slapped a cap on local property-tax levies — a real accomplishment. But his budget wouldn’t actually “cut” them. Instead, it would shift a little more of the local tax burden to the state tax base — in the long run promoting more growth in local spending and taxes. Read More

Why are New York's property taxes so high? Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo claims it is "because we have 10,500 local governments." That would be pretty alarming -- if it were true. In fact, according to the Census Bureau, New York has 3,453 local governments, a little less than one-third the governor's number. Relative to population, that's not especially large by national standards. Read More