Reports

Pricing the “Luxury Product”: New York City Taxes Under Mayor Bloomberg by E.J. McMahon |  | Reports

The last four years have seen a remarkable turnabout in tax policy of New York City. Considerable progress was made in reducing tax rates and the overall tax burden under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, from 1994 through 2001. But since 2002, the city under Mayor Bloomberg has raised taxes by up to $3 billion, two-thirds of which consisted of a record property tax hike. [Read_more]

Breaking the Budget in New York State by E.J. McMahon |  | Reports

After failing to adopt a budget on time for 20 of the last 21 years, New York State legislative leaders are seeking voter approval of a constitutional amendment that they insist on characterizing as “budget reform.”

Budget de-form would be more like it. [Read_more]

Another Middle-Class Tax? How the Federal AMT Hits New Yorkers by E.J. McMahon |  | Reports

Federal income tax cuts enacted during the past four years have been particularly benefcial to New York, saving Empire State residents a total of $36 billion through 2004. However, as documented in this report, New Yorkers are also being hit harder than most Americans by what’s been called “the most serious problem faced by federal taxpayers” — the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). [Read_more]

Getting More Bang for CFE Bucks | Reports

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity decision ordering more than $5 billion a year in additional spending on New York City schools is likely to have little effect on student achievement in the city. Because lack of money is not a primary explanation for the city’s low student performance, additional money by itself will do little to improve the situation. [Read_more]

No Strings Attached? Ensuring that “CFE” Funds are Spent Effectively | Reports

The 2003 New York State Court of Appeals ruling in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case has created a historic opportunity to reform New York City’s troubled schools. This opening was created because the court not only required changing the state aid formula to ensure a “sound basic education” for all New York City pupils, it also ordered that city schools be accountable for actually producing results. [Read_more]

Private Competition for Public Services: Unfinished Agenda in New York State | Reports

The benefits of opening public services to private competition—in terms of cost savings and quality—are potentially enormous, as George Pataki recognized when he first took office as Governor nearly a decade ago. Despite Governor Pataki’s early advocacy, however, competitive contracting has not taken root as the preferred approach to providing public services in New York. Given the dimensions of the state’s current fiscal crisis, there’s never been a better time for the Governor to pursue his original agenda by allowing private providers to challenge New York’s entrenched public-sector monopolies. [Read_more]

Defusing the Pension Bomb: How to Curb Public Retirement Costs in New York State | Reports

Skyrocketing state and local employee pension costs have been a major factor in the fiscal crisis affecting every level of government in New York State. Taxpayer financed public pension contributions have soared by more than $2.3 billion dollars over the past two years—and are projected to rise even more in 2004. In New York City alone, the rise in pension costs will consume every dollar raised by Mayor Bloomberg’s record property tax increase. [Read_more]

Deja Vu All Over Again: The Right Way to Cure New York’s Looming Budget Gap | Reports

This report analyzes New York State government’s fiscal history over the last three and a half decades, with a particular focus on Governor Pataki’s accomplishments. It finds that fiscal crises are always preceded by periods of higher-than-normal spending, and that reducing spending is the only successful way to solve a crisis. Tax increases, such as those passed in the early 1970s and 1990s, exacerbate crises by reducing economic activity. [Read_more]