Tag: Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo has said that he could flip what is currently projected as a $1.7 billion deficit for the next fiscal year into a $2 billion surplus by 2016, provided he can hold state spending growth to two percent or less. That's going to be quite difficult, fiscal analysts note, as the state has already committed to spending increases for education and health programs. “Two percent growth in state operating funds yields the 'surplus' he's talking about. The question, though, is that 40 percent of that is Medicaid and school aid, and those are assumed to increase at four percent each year, and in Albany, those are seen not as caps, but floors,” said E.J. McMahon, president of the business-backed Empire Center. “So if that's off-limits to reduction, it's very difficult to see how everything else gets reduced enough to hold that two percent line.” Enter the waiver. If the state were able to count on the additional federal revenue, it could direct some of its own money elsewhere. Read More

E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for New York State Policy, a nonprofit think tank, questions what kind of businesses will get into [Start-Up NY] and how many lasting jobs it will create. "Some of them will fail and won't produce any economic benefits," McMahon said. "It's capitalism; that's how it works." Read More

In his State of the State message last week, Gov. Cuomo once again cited the new Tappan Zee Bridge as a symbol of his ability to move forward on big, important infrastructure projects. But the governor hasn’t leveled with commuters and truckers on what they’ll be paying for this progress. Hint: a lot more than they do now. Read More

E.J. McMahon, executive director of the fiscally-conservative Empire Center, noted that statewide bond acts are often rejected by voters and he said the education bond proposed by Cuomo seems to rely on an arbitrary number and would pay for technology that will be outdated and useless before it's even paid off. “My concern is that it was pulled out of thin air and it was used to fill space in the State of the State that was thin on education stuff,” he said Sewer and infrastructure upgrades are a significant expense faced by many municipalities, including some that still directly discharge waste into the Hudson River during storms. Beaches in communities along Lake Erie are regularly closed during summer months because of sewer discharge into the water. Old pipes, decaying electrical systems and other infrastructure problems have stalled private development in many upstate cities, McMahon said. While McMahon said he didn't support the whole environmental bond, the $2 billion directed toward infrastructure is increasingly necessary, but gets little notice during an election year. “It's the non-sexy, really important thing that seems like it won't happen while we're paying for iPads and technology for schools,” he said. Read More

The upstate economy is in particular need of help. New York ranks 21st in the country for private-sector job growth since November 2010, but the 50 counties outside the New York City area taken alone would rank last in the nation for job growth, according to the Empire Center for New York Policy. Read More

Empire Center President E.J. McMahon spoke to WSHU radio in Long Island about Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address on Wednesday. Regarding Cuomo's proposed property tax plan, McMahon described it as a "so-called freeze." "It is not going to produce any significant or lasting saving for anybody," he added. Read More

Edmund J. McMahon, the president of the Empire Center for Public Policy, a conservative research group, said he remained unconvinced that the promised property tax measures would have any substantial economic impact. “These are tiny marginal temporary savings,” Mr. McMahon said. “They won’t do anything to speak of for the economy. They are meant to increase the ability of the governor and Legislature to say they reduced your property taxes.” Read More

E.J. McMahon of the Empire Center, a think tank, said the incentives were too small to greatly benefit homeowners or prod government consolidation. He estimated the maximum tax credit a Suffolk County homeowner could receive would be around $125; for Nassau County, closer to $200. Most upstate residents would get less than $100. "It's not fiscally significant," McMahon said. "I don't know how this is going to create positive impact on the economy." Read More


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Empire Center for Public Policy
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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.