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Empire Center Plan

Empire Center Plan

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Published by: rkarlin on Jan 04, 2010
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10/22/2011

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Blueprint for a Better Budget
A Plan of Action for New York State
E.J. McMahon and Josh Barro
 
P.O. Box 7113Albany, NY 12224(518) 434-3100info@empirecenter.org
 
www.empirecenter.org
Special Report SR1-10 January 2010
 
 
About the authors
E.J. McMAHON
is director of the Empire Center for New York State Policy, aproject of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. He also is the ManhattanInstitute’s senior fellow for tax and budgetary studies. His recent work for the In-stitute and its Empire Center has focused on state government reform, tax policy,public pension reform, competitive contracting of public services and the fiscalrecord of the Pataki administration. McMahon’s professional background includesmore than 25 years as a senior policy maker and analyst of New York govern-ment. He has served as Deputy Commissioner for Tax Policy Analysis andCounselor to the Commissioner in the state Department of Taxation and Finance;Director of Minority Staff for the state Assembly Ways and Means Committee;vice chancellor for external relations at the State University of New York; and Di-rector of Research for The Business Council’s research arm, the Public PolicyInstitute. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, the Pub-lic Interest, The New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Daily News,Newsday and the New York Sun, among other publications.
JOSH BARRO
is the Walter B. Wriston Fellow at the Manhattan Institute focus-ing on state and local fiscal policy. Prior to joining the Manhattan Institute, heserved as a Staff Economist at the Tax Foundation, where he authored the 2009State Business Tax Climate Index and the 2009 "Tax Freedom Day" report. Atthe Tax Foundation, he wrote several critical analyses of state tax and budgetproposals and gave testimony on tax reform before officials in Arkansas, Louisi-ana, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and South Carolina. Barro holds aBachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College.Blueprint Project Senior Research Analyst:
PETER DRAO
 Blueprint Project Research Analyst:
KEVIN BRONNER Jr.
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS 
Overview
 1I. The Collapse and Its Cause 2
Figure 1: State Spending in New York, SFYs 1999-2000 to 2009-10
 2
Figure 2: New York State’s Budget Gaps
 3
Table 1: General Fund Actual and Projected Baseline Spending
4
II. Rightsizing State Government 5
BENCHMARK: State Spending Per Capita, 2008
 5“Priorities of Government”: A Performance-Based Approach 6Table 2: Budget Actions and Savings from Projected General Fund Baseline 7BENCHMARK: Medicaid Payments Per Enrollee, 2006 8Table 3: Summary of Medicaid Reforms and Savings 11BENCHMARK: K-12 Education Spending Per Pupil, 2006-07 13BENCHMARK: Average In-State Tuition and Fees, 4-Year Public Colleges and Universities, 2009-10 15Table 4: Tuition and Fees at Flagship Public Institutions, Mid-Atlantic and New England, 2009-10 16BENCHMARK: State Mental Health Agency Spending Per Capita, 2006 17BENCHMARK: State Judicial Spending Per Capita, 2008 18BENCHMARK: Legislative Spending Per Member, 2008 19BENCHMARK: State Arts Agency Appropriations Per Capita, 2009 20BENCHMARK: Public Assistance Spending Per Capita, 2007 21Table 5: Proposed Welfare Reforms 22BENCHMARK: State Prison Spending Per Inmate, 2001 23Figure 3: Projected State Pension Contribution 28BENCHMARK: Highway Maintenance, Capital and Bridge Spending Per State-Controlled Mile 30Privatization, Partnerships and Outsourcing 32
III. A Framework for Reform 38
Freeze Public-Sector Salaries 38Balance the Labor Bargaining Table 39Address the High Cost and Number of Local Governments 40Curb Contracting Costs 42
IV. Better Budget-Making 44
Managing—And Budgeting—For Results 46
V. A Template for Tax Reform 47
Figure 4: NY State and Local Tax as a Share of Personal Income 47Figure 5: Actual and Projected State-Local Tax Burden 49Figure 6: Top Personal Income Tax Rates in Selected States 51Table 6: Estimated Savings From Eliminating Tax Credits 52
Conclusion
57
Summary of Recommendations 58Appendix 60Endnotes 66

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