Looking ahead to a watershed election year, most New York voters are dissatisfied with the performance of their state government, according to the Empire Center’s statewide voter survey. Large majorities also believe that state leaders are more responsive to special interests, or to their own personal interests, than to the voters’ interests. Read More
Significant changes in state and local tax rates can have significant consequences for New York City's economy. But how do we measure and predict those consequences? To answer that question, the Manhattan Institute's Empire Center for Public Policy has commissioned an updated and upgraded version of the State Tax Analysis Modeling Program (STAMP), developed by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, Mass. Read More
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
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
The authors note that the problem of increased number of children in special-ed is largely a self-inflicted one. There is little evidence to support contentions that increased disability rates are to blame. Read More
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
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
This paper provides an Empire State perspective on federal income tax cuts enacted since 2001. It estimates the resulting decrease in New Yorkers’ tax payments and describes the implications for New York of proposed future changes in federal tax policy. Read More
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
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
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