Research

Mayor Bloomberg's planned property-tax rebate for New York City homeowners won't provide the same economic boost as a permanent rate cut for all property taxpayers. But it sweeps $250 million off the budgetary table and away from the grasping hands of the municipal labor unions and City Council. Read More

New York’s public-pension system has become the epicenter of an influence-peddling scandal that has attracted the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the state’s attorney general. Read More

Faced with a $6 billion budget gap, New York state desperately needs to stretch taxpayer dollars and do more with less. One of the prime solutions can be summed up in a single word all too rarely found in Albany's bureaucratic lexicon: competition. 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

The unexpected surge in the third-quarter GDP is wonderful news for the national economy, all right. But don't read too much into it - yet - as far as New York State and City are concerned. Read More

The cost of living in New York City is 240 percent of the national average, according to one recent estimate. That's not just the highest in the country. It's nearly twice as high as the next most expensive metro areas (Boston and Washington, D.C, in that order). Read More

Despite the rebound on Wall Street, New York City's fiscal problems are far from over. Even after two years of belt-tightening, city spending continues to grow at twice the rate of inflation. With unions stonewalling requests for contract concessions a city budget gap of $2 billion to $3 billion looms in the year ahead. In short, recent talk in City Hall of rolling back tax hikes was just that--talk. Read More

After a winter and spring filled with budgetary "doomsday" talk in City Hall, New York's latest fiscal crisis has been interrupted by an eerie, eye-of-the-storm calm. In the space of two months, Mayor Bloomberg's demands for union concessions and program cuts gave way to unilateral budget restorations and celebratory photo ops with City Council leaders. Read More

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About

The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.