Research

With little advance notice or fanfare, a constitutional amendment (S.1) that would give the Legislature much more power to shape the state budget was reported out of the Senate Finance Committee today. The Assembly version (A.2) was approved back in February, so the measure is now a big step closer to a statewide voter referendum. Read More

Federal income tax cuts enacted during the past four years have been particularly benefcial to New York, saving Empire State residents a total of $36 billion through 2004. However, as documented in this report, New Yorkers are also being hit harder than most Americans by what’s been called “the most serious problem faced by federal taxpayers” — the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Read More

With or without Gov. Pataki's cooperation, state legislators are expected to finish passing a series of budget bills before the new fiscal year begins Thursday. Read More

High state and local taxes are widely recognized as a significant obstacle to stronger economic growth, especially for Upstate communities whose natural competitors are lower-cost regions of the Midwest and Southeast. Read More

Once the Legislature adopted a "temporary" personal-income-tax increase in 2003, it was only a matter of time before someone in Albany moved to make the tax hike permanent. Read More

Approaching what could turn out to be yet another stalemate with the Legislature, Governor Pataki says the last four years have been "the worst ... since the Great Depression" for New York State's finances. Read More

The Campaign for Fiscal Equity decision ordering more than $5 billion a year in additional spending on New York City schools is likely to have little effect on student achievement in the city. Because lack of money is not a primary explanation for the city’s low student performance, additional money by itself will do little to improve the situation. Read More

New York State spending has increased faster during the four fiscal years since the latest economic downturn began in 2001 than during a comparable recession and recovery period in the early 1990s. Read More

Adding to the pressure created by rising Medicaid and other costs, local governments and school districts all over New York are being hammered by massive increases in pension costs for public employees. Read More

Reinforcing New York City's improved policing strategies in the 1990s were tougher sentencing laws and a significant expansion of the city and state correctional systems. Would-be criminals came to realize that they were not only more likely to get caught, but more likely to end up serving hard time. Read More

During the recent uproar over the Thruway Authority's questionable handling of a proposed Erie Canal land development deal, far too little attention was paid to the more fundamental question of why the Thruway Authority had anything to do with the canal in the first place. Read More