Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — April 19, 1999


ALBANY—The tax burden imposed by New York State government rose more than the inflation rate in 1998, but other states increased tax collections more, according to statistics the U.S. Census Bureau released on the Internet today. The result was a further improvement in New York's relative state-tax burden, from 15.8 percent above average in 1997 to 12.9 percent above average in 1998, according to an analysis of the Census data by The Public Policy Institute. (see attached tables)

Taxes collected by New York State totaled $1,989 for every resident in fiscal year 1998, according to the new Census data. That represented an increase of 3.5 percent from the previous year, compared to the inflation rate of around 2.3 percent. Nationwide, per-capita state taxes rose an average of 6.1 percent in 1998.

New York now ranks 11th among the 50 states in per-capita state taxes. Its ranking in 1997 was 10th and, a decade earlier, 5th among all the states, according to the Institute, the research affiliate of The Business Council of New York State Inc.

"Our taxes are moving closer to a competitive level," said Daniel B. Walsh, president/CEO of The Business Council. "We need to make more progress."

The new Census Bureau report shows that state personal income taxes in New York totaled $1,006 per resident - the 5th-highest level in the nation, and 68 percent above the average for all states. The report also provides data for:

The new Census data for fiscal 1998 do not take into account tax cuts New York has enacted and implemented - or tax changes in other states - since then. Tax cuts enacted by Governor Pataki and the Legislature but not fully implemented as of fiscal 1998 include reduction in the state's gross receipts tax on energy and telecommunications customers; elimination of New York's added estate tax; partial elimination of the sales tax on clothing; and major reductions in the state's business taxes.

The new report on state-level taxes comes just weeks after the Census Bureau's release, in early March, of 1996 data on combined state and local taxes. Using that measure, New York's combined tax burden of $3,987 per capita ranks the state No. 1, with taxes 53.5 percent above average.

The Census Bureau report, State Government Tax Collections 1998, is available through the "News Releases" section of the Bureau's site on the World Wide Web, http://www.census.gov.

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