Testimony

Governor Cuomo’s 2014-15 Executive Budget would devote more resources to initiatives described as “tax cuts” than any state budget we’ve seen in quite a few years. This in itself is an encouraging sign of the recognition that New York needs to do more to shed its reputation as a high-cost, high-tax state. Read More

The Great Recession and its aftermath have brought obvious, ongoing strains to finances at every level of government. What we have been experiencing for the past five years is something new and unprecedented in the post-World War II era: a prolonged period of slow growth with pronounced disinflationary tendencies. Read More

This committee has chosen an opportune moment to review New York’s state tax code and consider reform options. Wall Street, the state’s cash cow for 20 years, is now retrenching. And in an era of slower economic growth, many businesses will be less willing to shoulder costs they can avoid by moving elsewhere. Needless to say, by various measures, most states can offer a lower-cost environment than New York. Read More

This testimony discusses one key proposal of the Governor’s Human Service Budget – managing the SSI State Supplement. As part of his SFY 2012-13 Executive Budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo has included a long overdue initiative for the state to take over the administration of New York’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) state supplemental payment from the federal Social Security Administration. Read More

As part of his 2012-13 budget legislation, Governor Cuomo has proposed the most significant and potentially far-reaching reform of New York public pensions in at least 36 years. While the governor’s plan is far from being an ideal solution to the problem of exploding pension costs and long-term liabilities, it includes some significant steps in the right direction, which are worthy of serious consideration and support. Read More

New York’s local property tax levels are exceptionally high by national standards and have grown by more than double the inflation rate over the past decade, justifying the governor’s push to limit future growth. Read More

I want to begin today by commending the state Senate for its passage last month of Governor Cuomo’s property tax cap bill. In years to come, the Jan. 31 vote may be seen as a turning point, a historic first step towards lasting relief for New York’s taxpayers. Read More

Governor Cuomo’s 2011-12 Executive Budget does not call for any significant state tax increases. The thrust of my testimony today is that the Legislature should not attempt to add tax increases to this budget—and should start actively working on a more competitive and growth-oriented tax policy for the future. 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.