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Local government is a labor-intensive business, and employee compensation is the single biggest element of most municipal budgets. The 2018-19 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.
This year marks the 90th anniversary of New York State’s first Executive Budget, presented by Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt in January 1929. Constitutional amendments establishing the Executive Budget process had been approved by New York voters in November 1927, capping a more than decade-long bipartisan effort to bring order to what had been a shambolic and fiscally profligate legislative budget process.
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Empire IdeasView All
Empire Ideas is a series of policy papers focusing on topics of concern to local governments. Our goal in this project is to help elected officials, local taxpayer groups, community associations and concerned taxpayers explore ways of improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of local government.
Data View All
Empire Center's Data section now includes over 50 different data sets in seven categories that measure and rank New York's state and local taxes, spending, debt and economic competitiveness.