Research

The recent enactment of sweeping changes in federal laws governing private pension plans, the issuance of a scathing auditors' report on the collapse of San Diego's pension fund, and the disclosure of potential shortfalls in New York City's pension funds all point to what should be the nation's next big target for financial reform. Read More

New York’s state and local governments provide their retired employees with continuing health insurance coverage on the same basis as active workers, at benefit levels far more generous than those available to taxpayers employed in the private sector. Read More

In Mario Cuomo's last year as governor, New Yorkers' combined state and local tax burden was 13.7 percent of their income—fully 3.2 percentage points above the national average, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation. As of 2005, the Tax Foundation estimates, the Empire State's combined tax burden is down to 12 percent—1.9 percentage points above the national average. Read More

New York City's current budget is an object lesson in why too much money is just as serious a problem as too little. New York ended the last fiscal year with $3.8 billion more than it expected to spend. . . but while taxpayers historically have borne tax-rate hikes to fund the city's predictable cyclical deficits, they will not see tax cuts due to the current record surplus, unless Mayor Bloomberg takes advantage of this temporary boom time. . . Read More

New York's newly adopted city budget for fiscal 2006 calls for a 7.5 percent spending increase, well above the rate of inflation or growth in the city's economy. Under the four municipal budgets adopted since Michael Bloomberg became mayor in 2002, city spending has risen at more than twice the inflation rate. Relative to New Yorkers' personal income, city operating expenditures in the year ahead will be significantly higher than the average during Rudolph Giuliani's tenure in the mayor's office. Read More

In a budget " cleanup bill" they adopted before adjourning two weeks ago, state legislators effectively plunked about $1 billion worth of rum soaked cherries on what was already a massive New York style cheesecake of fiscal excess. Read More

Some of the more ballyhooed changes are so small they may escape a typical taxpayer's notice. For example, if your family owns two cars and drives a lot, the repeal of sales taxes on gasoline purchases over $2 per gallon may save you a whopping $30 over the course of a year. Read More