The decision by the nation’s largest solar panel provider to locate a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Buffalo, and to create other jobs in Western New York, could be a needed shot in the arm for a city and a region that’s been declining economically for many years. But there are significant risks and unanswered questions associated with the state government’s willingness to commit the bulk of its “Buffalo Billion” resources to the massive SolarCity factory on the site of the former RiverBend steel plant. [Read_more]
Residents of the small Western New York village of Sloan had the highest effective property tax rate in New York, paying $64.46 per $1,000 of home value during 2014, according to the newest edition of Benchmarking NY, the Empire Center’s annual examination of local property taxes. [Read_more]
The poverty-fighting effectiveness of the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credit in New York is the focus of “Making Work Pay,” a new Issue Brief from the Empire Center for Public Policy.
In light of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s push for a $15-an-hour statewide minimum wage, the briefing paper explains how the EITC already serves to boost low wages to levels well above the poverty line. [Read_more]
Local government is a labor-intensive business, and employee compensation is the single biggest element of most municipal budgets. The 2014-15 edition of What They Make, the Empire Center’s annual report on public payrolls, allows New York taxpayers to compare this key element of local government costs around the state. [Read_more]