Category: Commentary

Despite the rebound on Wall Street, New York City's fiscal problems are far from over. Even after two years of belt-tightening, city spending continues to grow at twice the rate of inflation. With unions stonewalling requests for contract concessions a city budget gap of $2 billion to $3 billion looms in the year ahead. In short, recent talk in City Hall of rolling back tax hikes was just that--talk. Read More

The cost of living in New York City is 240 percent of the national average, according to one recent estimate. That's not just the highest in the country. It's nearly twice as high as the next most expensive metro areas (Boston and Washington, D.C, in that order). Read More

The unexpected surge in the third-quarter GDP is wonderful news for the national economy, all right. But don't read too much into it - yet - as far as New York State and City are concerned. Read More

Faced with a $6 billion budget gap, New York state desperately needs to stretch taxpayer dollars and do more with less. One of the prime solutions can be summed up in a single word all too rarely found in Albany's bureaucratic lexicon: competition. Read More

DESPITE the improving national and regional economy, New York City's budget remains stuck in a hole. With operating expenses momentarily in check, the city's continuing fiscal imbalance stems mainly from big projected increases in the cost of Medicaid, debt service, employee health benefits - and, seemingly out of nowhere, pension contributions. Read More

Mayor Bloomberg's planned property-tax rebate for New York City homeowners won't provide the same economic boost as a permanent rate cut for all property taxpayers. But it sweeps $250 million off the budgetary table and away from the grasping hands of the municipal labor unions and City Council. Read More

Where can a city turn for more cash when it already taxes practically everything that moves? The latest suggestions from New York's Independent Budget Office (IBO) point to gourmet coffee and cosmetic surgery, prompting well-earned snickers all around. 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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