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
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
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
At a time when New York desperately needs to find ways of delivering public services more efficiently, its transit bus operations could prove to be a significant source of recurring savings for the future. The key to unlocking these savings is competition—an essential spur to improved performance and efficiency that’s been missing from transit in New York for most of the past 50 years. Read More
In the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center, New York City faces a budget gap of at least $3.6 billion. As a result, Michael Bloomberg will confront the city’s most serious financial crisis in a decade. Read More
In the weeks leading up to the original September 11th primary date, the mayoral candidates would occasionally acknowledge that their plans might have to change if New York City encountered a full-blown recession. Read More
In the last five years, New York City’s economy has boomed and private sector employment has hit record levels. What, if anything, did lower taxes have to do with these achievements? And what are the implications for future tax policy? Read More
The new federal tax law is good news for New York, which bears a disproportionately heavy share of the federal tax burden. But while it rests on a solid foundation of broad-based tax relief very similar to what President George W. Bush proposed, the tax cut bill enacted by Congress left a tangle of loose ends. Read More
Tax cuts emerged as a major issue early in the 2000 Presidential campaign, with George W. Bush and Al Gore each emphasizing the savings he would deliver to middle-class taxpayers. Tax policy is also a sharp point of contention in New York’s Senate race, where Rick Lazio and Hillary Clinton have sparred over whether large scale tax relief is either desirable or affordable. Read More
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