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

82 Questions Hochul’s Pandemic Report Should Answer

This is the month when New Yorkers are due to finally receive an official report on the state's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the deadliest disasters in state history. T Read More

New Jersey’s Pandemic Report Shines Harsh Light on a New York Scandal

A recently published independent review of New Jersey's pandemic response holds lessons for New York on at least two levels. First, it marked the only serious attempt by any state t Read More

Hochul’s ‘Straight Talk’ on Medicaid Isn’t Straight Enough

Arguably the biggest Medicaid news in Governor Hochul's budget presentation was about the current fiscal year, not the next one: The state-run health plan is running substantially over budget. Read More

DeRosa Is Still Hiding the Truth About Cuomo’s Pandemic Response

As the long-time top aide to former Governor Andrew Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa ought to have useful information to share about the state's pandemic response – especially about what went wrong and how the state could be better Read More

One Brooklyn Health’s Money Troubles Raise a Billion-Dollar Question

A brewing fiscal crisis at One Brooklyn Health, which has received more than $1 billion in turnaround funding from the state, raises the question of whether that money has been well spent. Read More

Beware of Medicaid’s Spending Swings

The state's Medicaid spending is becoming increasingly volatile from month to mo Read More

Emails Confirm That Cuomo’s Staff Launched Its ‘Book’ Project in March 2020

A pair of state-employed writers began researching, outlining and drafting a book about Governor Andrew Cuomo's pandemic response in late March 2020, weeks before New York's harrowing first wave had passed, according to newly disclosed email records. Read More

A Politically Active Medical Group Gains Access to Funds for ‘Distressed’ Providers

A politically connected medical group in the Bronx garnered an unusual benefit in the new state budget – access to money previously reserved for financially troubled safety-net hospitals and nursing homes. Read More