For Release — April 21, 1999
FACTS' BOOKLET COMPARES TAXES, SPENDING, JOBS,
OTHER KEY INDICATORS
IN NEW YORK AND OTHER STATES
ALBANYState and local government spending in New York is second-highest among the 50 states, at nearly 52 percent above the national average. And the state is far ahead of its competitors in taxpayer spending on hospitals, Medicaid, schools and welfare.
Those are among the data in Just The Facts: Key Economic and Social Indicators for New York State, published today by The Public Policy Institute. The Institute is the research affiliate of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
As of 1996, the latest year for which authoritative Census data are available, state and local governments in New York spent $7,990 per resident. The national average was $5,268 - and major states such as Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas were significantly below the average.
New York's per-capita spending on hospitals was 4th-highest in the nation, 61 percent above average; on welfare, the highest of any state's and 89 percent above average; and on Medicaid, also No. 1, more than 150 percent above average. Per-student spending in public schools was 3rd-highest, 50 percent above average, as of 1998, according to the Institute.
"Government spending in New York is still far too high," said Daniel B. Walsh, president/CEO of The Business Council. "Spending restraint is essential if we are to become truly competitive with other states."
Just The Facts shows that New York State's job growth has improved noticeably in recent years - but still lags the pace of growth nationally.
During 1998, private-sector employment in the Empire State rose 2.0 percent. That was behind other major states such as Florida (4.4 percent), California (3.5 percent) and Texas (3.4 percent), but ahead of Michigan (1.5 percent), Pennsylvania (1.2 percent) and Ohio (0.9 percent). Nationwide, private-sector employment rose by 2.4 percent.
Manufacturing employment in New York tracked the national pace in 1998, shrinking by 1.2 percent. Most other major states did better, although New Jersey lost 2 percent of its manufacturing jobs during the year.
Other statistics contained in the new report include:
- Taxes on New Yorkers remain the heaviest in the nation, and are far above those in key competitor states. Yet the state's "tax gap" - the added tax burden in New York, compared to other states - is at its lowest level since 1982, and falling further.
- Local taxes, in particular, are out of line with those elsewhere - at $2,109 per person, more than double the national average.
- The cost of doing business in New York remains uncompetitive in key areas including energy, workers' compensation and liability.
- The Empire State retains enormous economic strengths, including leadership positions in both corporate headquarters and entrepreneurial startups, along with enviable concentrations of financial service companies and jobs.
The Business Council is New York's largest broad-based business group, representing over 3,000 member companies large and small across the state. Based in Albany, it lobbies for a better business climate, and offers cost-cutting services to its members.