Reports

Opponents of the proposed Tier 6 pension reform like to point out that the average annual benefit paid by the state pension system in 2011 was $19,151 — “not a big amount for someone whose [sic] gave a lifetime of service,” as the Public Employees Federation (PEF) puts it in a letter and blast fax to state legislators. Read More

Traditional public employee pension programs in New York State have become unaffordable for taxpayers—while denying workers the ability to choose more flexible approaches to retirement planning. Read More

In the wake of the nation’s worst economic downturn since the 1930s, New York State’s counties, municipalities and school districts face intense budgetary pressure. To bring spending into line with tightly constrained revenues, especially under a newly imposed property tax cap, local governments need more than ever to control rising employee salary and benefit costs. Read More

On Dec. 6, 2011, Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a deal to extend New York's biggest income tax increase in 50 years, targeting earners of $1 million and more for what will be the third highest income tax rate imposed by any major state. Read More

New York State has a new law capping annual increases in local government and school district property taxes. Effective in local fiscal years starting on or after Jan. 1, 2012, the law limits the annual growth of property taxes levied by local governments and school districts to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. Read More

As the exodus of taxpayers from the Empire State continued during the past decade, which other states gained the most at New York’s expense? And how were migration patterns affected by changing economic conditions? Read More

New York lost a net 1.6 million residents to other states between 2000 and 2010, according to 2010 Census data. The domestic migration outflow, coupled with a slowdown in foreign immigration, ensured that New York’s share of the nation’s population continued to slide in the first decade of the 21st century. Read More

Directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing have unlocked vast new reserves of natural gas in the United States. Development of these resources is now well under way in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Unlike their neighbors to the south, however, New York residents are not directly benefiting from natural gas development as the result of a government-imposed moratorium, itself a response to environmental concerns surrounding hydraulic fracturing. Read More

“Proactive disclosure” of public information on the Internet is the next logical step in the evolution of government transparency, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy, which today released model legislation to make it a reality. Read More

New York’s expensive Medicaid program provides generous long-term care benefits to a large number of recipients. Although Medicaid eligibility is means-tested, with limits on both income and assets, the program nevertheless pays for most professional long-term care services in the state. Read More

A broad, tight cap on local property taxes is a central element of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s agenda for making New York State more affordable and competitive. The governor’s tax cap has passed in the state Senate with strong bipartisan support. Its fate will ultimately be decided in the state Assembly. Read More

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About

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.