Non-profit

Empire Center for Public Policy

Website:

www.empirecenter.org

Location:

Albany, NY

Tax ID:

46-1987418

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $647,789
Expenses: $907,486
Assets: $448,141

Formation:

2013

Type:

Non-profit

Executive Director:

Timothy Hoefer

Executive Director's Salary:

$125,568[23]

The Empire Center for Public Policy is a nonpartisan think tank that promotes public policy reforms in support of free-market principles, personal responsibility, and limited government intervention. [1] The Empire Center supports right-of-center tax policy, education reform, and government transparency in New York. [2]

The Empire Center for Public Policy is an affiliate member of the State Policy Network, a coalition of free market policy organizations that focus on state-level policy implementation. [3] While the Empire Center is nonpartisan, several members of its staff have affiliations with the Republican Party.

Activity

The Empire Center for Public Policy was launched in 2005 as a project of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and became an independent nonprofit in 2013. [4] The Empire Center for Public Policy is a nonpartisan think tank that supports free-market policy, advocating for tax changes, education reform, and increased government transparency in New York. [5]

The Empire Center advocates for state tax and spending reforms that would reduce government spending, eliminate tax increases, and reduce the state’s reliance on federal bailout money. The Empire Center claims that New York has the highest state spending for K-12 education and Medicaid and has endorsed measures to lower these expenditures to match the national average. The Empire Center has argued that lowering this spending will reduce property and sales taxes and ultimately reduce costs for the federal government. [6]

The Empire Center did not support Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) proposed 2021 tax increase for New York’s highest earners and claims that the state’s existing high tax rate for millionaires provides an incentive for individuals to relocate to states with lower tax rates. The Empire Center claims that if New York’s tax rates for high earners had been in line with the national average, then the state would have collected an additional $4.1 billion in tax revenue over a 10-year period by attracting high earners to the state and retaining existing high earners. [7]

The Empire Center also advocates for school choice programs. The Center has endorsed the creation of a voucher program for low-income students and students with disabilities, the development of a virtual education system, and the removal of restrictions created by teacher certification requirements. The Empire Center has also advocated for spending cuts to K-12 education, arguing that data from the New York Education Department demonstrates a decreased enrollment in public schools but increased enrollment in charter schools. The Empire Center has used such data to argued that increased spending on public education has not created better learning outcomes. [8]

In an effort to promote government transparency, the Empire Center runs the website SeeThroughNY.net, a database containing payroll information for all New York state public employees, including information on pensions and contracts for unions and school employees. The website provides state budget information and tracks where funding originates, how it is spent at the state and local levels, historic spending trends, and pork spending. [9]

Funding

The Empire Center for Public Policy is funded by donations from individuals, foundations, and businesses. While the Empire Center for Public Policy does not disclose its donors, tax filings show donations from Donors Trust, which contributed $514,000 between 2017 and 2019;[10] Donors Capital Fund, which contributed $328,732 between 2013 and 2016; [11] and the State Policy Network (SPN) , which contributed $153,700 between 2013 and 2018. [12]

Staff

Tim Hoefer is president and CEO of the Empire Center for Public Policy. Hoefer formerly worked in communications and public affairs for the New York State Senate and Assembly. [13]

Bob DiCostanzo is the director of donor relations at the Empire Center. DiCostanzo formerly worked as a policy analyst for the Commonwealth Foundation. [14]

Cameron Macdonald is the director of projects and a fellow at the Empire Center. Macdonald formerly worked as executive director and general counsel for the Government Justice Center. [15]

Edmund McMahon is the founder of the Empire Center. McMahon is a senior fellow at the Empire Center and an adjunct fellow at the right-leaning Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. McMahon formerly served as chief fiscal advisor to the Assembly Republican Conference and as deputy commissioner in the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. [16]

Ben Moulton is a data analyst at the Empire Center. Moulton formerly interned with the Charles Koch Institute, the Cato Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and the Republican Party of Virginia. Moulton also formerly worked as a press intern for U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). [17]

Board of Directors

Peter Hein sits as chair of the board and as a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission. [18]

Board member Kevin Albert formerly served on the board of the American Investment Council. [19] Board member Ken Bond formerly served on the Legal and Legislative Committee of the New York State Government Finance Officers Association and as a trustee of the Citizens Budget Commission. [20]

Debi Ghate is an Empire Center for Public Policy board member and the vice president of strategy and innovation at the Philanthropy Roundtable. Ghate formerly oversaw the education and policy programs at the Ayn Rand Institute, worked on the leadership teams at both the Charles Koch Foundation and the Anthem Foundation for Objectivist Scholarship, and worked as senior director of grant strategy at the Snider Foundation. [21]

Frank H. Suits, Jr. formerly sat as chair of the New York Materials Association, president of the Liquid Asphalt Distributors Association, and on the board of the New York Chapter of the Association of General Contractors. [22]

References

  1. “Who We Are.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/who-we-are/. ^
  2. Reisman, Nick. “Think Tank Empire Center Spinning Off From Manhattan Institute.” State of Politics, October 4, 2013. Archived from the original April 18, 2017. Accessed March 29, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20170418190049/http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2013/10/think-tank-empire-center-spinning-off-from-manhattan-institute/. ^
  3. “The Network: New York.” State Policy Network, 2021. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://spn.org/directory/#NY. ^
  4. Reisman, Nick. “Think Tank Empire Center Spinning Off From Manhattan Institute.” State of Politics, October 4, 2013. Archived from the original April 18, 2017. Accessed March 29, 2021. http://web.archive.org/web/20170418190049/http://www.nystateofpolitics.com/2013/10/think-tank-empire-center-spinning-off-from-manhattan-institute/. ^
  5. “Who We Are.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/who-we-are/. ^
  6. “New York Spends More than All Other States on Education and Medicaid.” Empire Center for Public Policy, March 23, 2021. Accessed March 29, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/new-york-spends-more-on-education-and-medicaid./ ^
  7. McMahon, E.J. “Compared to US trend, NY state has lost ‘millionaires’ since Great Recession.” Empire Center for Public Policy, March 26, 2021. Accessed March 29, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/ny-lost-millionaires-since-great-recession/. ^
  8. Kingsbury, Ian. “A Roadmap for Reimagining Education.” Empire Center for Public Policy, November 17, 2020. Accessed March 29, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/a-roadmap-for-reimagining-education/. ^
  9. “Home.” SeeThroughNY, 2021. Accessed March 29, 2021. https://seethroughny.net/. ^
  10. Donors Trust, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2017-2019, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  11. Donors Capital Fund, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2013-2016, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  12. State Policy Network, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2013-2018, Schedule I, Part II. ^
  13. “Tim Hoefer.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/author/thoefer/. ^
  14. “Bob DiCostanza.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/author/bob-dicostanzo/. ^
  15. “Cam MacDonald.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/publications/author/cam-macdonald/. ^
  16. “Edmund J. (“E.J.”) McMahon.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed March 28, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/edmund-j-e-j-mcmahon-660b5671/. ^
  17. “Benjamin Moulton.” LinkedIn, 2021. Accessed March 28, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/benjamin-moulton-2ba733148/. ^
  18. “Peter C. Hein.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/board-of-directors/peter-c-hein/. ^
  19. “Kevin Albert.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/board-of-directors/kevin-albert/. ^
  20. “Kenneth W. Bond.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/board-of-directors/kenneth-w-bond/. ^
  21. “Debi Ghate.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/debi-ghate/. ^
  22. “Frank H. Suits, Jr.” Empire Center for Public Policy. Accessed March 25, 2021. https://www.empirecenter.org/board-of-directors/frank-h-suits-jr/. ^
  23. Empire Center for Public Policy Inc, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Part VII, Section A, Line 1a. ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. State Policy Network (SPN)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: September - August
  • Tax Exemption Received: September 1, 2013

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Sep Form 990 $647,789 $907,486 $448,141 $39,700 N $645,569 $0 $120 $93,181
    2015 Sep Form 990 $1,038,917 $731,440 $665,225 $22,073 N $1,035,644 $0 $23 $101,920 PDF
    2014 Sep Form 990 $786,302 $761,444 $302,467 $6,624 N $780,552 $2,975 $1 $218,567 PDF
    2013 Sep Form 990 $473,612 $202,627 $342,711 $71,726 N $472,562 $1,050 $0 $27,027 PDF

    Empire Center for Public Policy

    30 S PEARL ST STE 1210
    Albany, NY 12207-3426