Nicole Gelinas has a must-read op-ed in the New York Post raising questions about Governor Cuomo’s plan to rely on public-private partnerships (PPPs) to finance infrastructure and economic development projects in New York.

Her lead is an apt summary of a development policy the governor began to lay out last fall:

Gov. Cuomo wants to “build a new New York” — but he doesn’t want to pay for it. To get billions for construction, he’s turning to “public-private partnerships.” Sorry. Just as there’s no free lunch, there’s no free bridge.

Nicole points out that state’s financial advisors have warned in the past that bridge tolls can’t be raised high enough to generate the profit that private investors will want to earn from a rebuilt Tappan Zee Bridge. And she critiques the governor’s vision of an “entreprenurial government” relying heavily on private-sector partners to finance infrastructure and other economic development projects:

Wouldn’t the private sector be so efficient that it would save money building and running the (Tappan Zee) bridge? Maybe not. Private companies are efficient because they have to compete; this private company wouldn’t compete with anyone. It would be a monopoly, like Con Ed. Its captive “customer” would be the state.

The same is true of Cuomo’s proposal to build a convention center and casino in Queens. Genting, Cuomo’s preferred company, would pay the $4 billion, but only if New York gives it a regional monopoly on gambling, plus tax breaks. This isn’t healthy competition, but a protection racket.

By all means, read the whole thing.

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

You may also like

Emails show Cuomo’s staff working on his memoir at the peak of New York’s pandemic

Newly available records shed further light on the origins of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's pandemic memoir, which won him a $5.1 million publishing contract before contributing to his political downfall. The records reveal that his government staff were a Read More

Hochul’s Pandemic Study Is Off to an Underwhelming Start

Although Governor Hochul's long-promised review of New York's COVID response hasn't formally started yet, it has already exposed important information about the state's pandemic preparedness – much of which is unflattering. Read More

Answers needed on Governor Hochul’s health-care budget

The health-care agenda laid out by Governor Hochul in her budget proposal this week leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Here are a few of them. Read More

The Health Department takes a big step toward COVID transparency

The state Health Department released a flurry of 20 COVID-related data sets this week, taking its biggest step yet toward full transparency about the state's pandemic response. Read More

Remembering the scandal that brought down Health Commissioner Howard Zucker

The resignation of Dr. Howard Zucker as state health commissioner marks the end of a term marred by scandal over his role in managing the coronavirus pandemic. The much-debated compelling nursing homes to admit COVID-positive patients, though it origi Read More

After 10 weeks, all but five of the Empire Center’s 63 requests for pandemic data remain unfulfilled

Over the 10 days that Hochul has been in office, there has been no further progress on the Empire Center's record requests. Read More

New York’s health benefits remain the second-costliest in the U.S.

New York's health benefit costs increased faster than the national average in 2020, leaving it with the second-least affordable coverage in the U.S. The state's average total cost f Read More

Another Hochul To-Do: Timely Financial Reporting

The state will spend a record $212 billion in the current 2022 Fiscal Year, under the budget its elected leaders adopted in April. Read More

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!