Home

News

Contact:
Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications
518.465.7511

For Release — Monday, September 10, 2001

CENSUS BUREAU RELEASES NEW DATA ON STATE AND LOCAL TAXES

ALBANY—The U.S. Census Bureau released today data on state and local governments' finances for fiscal 1999, with the most commonly used comparative data showing New York's "tax gap" with other states essentially unchanged from the previous year.

Combined state and local taxes in New York totaled $4,515 per person in 1999, according to the new Census data. That was 50.9 percent above the average for all states, and - as was the case in 1998 - second in the nation, behind Connecticut.

The Census Bureau is the authoritative source of financial data on all 50 state and local governments. The Public Policy Institute, The Business Council's research affiliate, analyzed Census data to compare taxes and spending in New York with those in other states.

For most of the 1980s and 1990s, New York's "tax gap" - the extra cost of state and local taxes in the Empire State, compared to the average of all states - ranged from 55 percent to 67 percent. From 1995 through 1998, it declined each year. The 1999 figure released today is one-tenth of a percentage point higher than the 1998 figure, 50.8 percent.

Robert B. Ward, director of research for The Public Policy Institute, cautioned that the per-capita tax figures probably overstate New York's tax burden in the late 1990s. The 2000 population census showed the number of New York State residents significantly higher than the Census Bureau had previously estimated. The per-capita tax figures for 1999 and most other years rely on the Census Bureau's earlier estimates of population. If the population estimate for any given year is lower than the actual population, the actual per-capita tax burden would be lower than the reported figure.

The Census Bureau released its 1998 tallies of state and local taxes earlier this summer. Generally, the agency issues such reports once every year or so. Over the past year, the bureau has increased the frequency of its reports on taxes, making them more timely.

Using another common measure of comparative tax burdens that relates total tax collections to personal income, New York's state and local governments collected $140 in taxes for every $1,000 in personal income in 1999. That figure was down from $142 a year earlier. By this measure, the combined tax burden in New York was the highest in the nation in 1999, and 27.6 percent above the national average.

New York is one of only two states where local taxes total more than those collected at the state level. In 1999, local taxes added up to $2,388 for every resident in New York, while taxes imposed directly by Albany averaged $2,127 per capita.

"New York is more competitive for business and jobs today because Governor Pataki and the Legislature have cut taxes," said Daniel B. Walsh, president of The Business Council and CEO of the Public Policy Institute. "But there is more to do."

Government spending in New York is significantly higher than in most other states, the Institute's analysis found. Overall state and local spending totaled $8,844 per person, 48 percent higher than the national average. In the two largest spending areas, New York's social-services expenditures were 74 percent higher, and education spending was 17 percent higher, than the per-capita average nationally.

The Institute's analysis of the new Census data also showed:

 

State and Local Taxes Per Capita, 1999
Rank
State
Amt.
Rank
State
Amt.
1
Connecticut
$4,536
27
Iowa
$2,674
2
NEW YORK
$4,515
28
Florida
2,663
3
New Jersey
3,878
29
North Carolina
2,649
4
Massachusetts
3,606
30
North Dakota
2,631
5
Minnesota
3,599
31
Indiana
2,621
6
Wisconsin
3,318
32
New Hampshire
2,590
7
Hawaii
3,303
33
Oregon
2,574
8
Delaware
3,278
34
New Mexico
2,568
9
Maine
3,258
35
Utah
2,568
10
Rhode Island
3,226
36
Missouri
2,565
11
Maryland
3,202
37
Arizona
2,561
12
California
3,167
38
Kentucky
2,464
13
Washington
3,148
39
Texas
2,456
14
Illinois
3,131
40
Idaho
2,428
15
Michigan
3,032
41
Louisiana
2,409
16
Vermont
3,004
42
Arkansas
2,382
17
Colorado
2,987
43
West Virginia
2,368
18
Pennsylvania
2,934
44
South Carolina
2,333
19
Nevada
2,925
45
Oklahoma
2,313
20
Ohio
2,869
46
Montana
2,312
21
Virginia
2,846
47
South Dakota
2,255
22
Alaska
2,841
48
Mississippi
2,198
23
Wyoming
2,827
49
Tennessee
2,142
24
Nebraska
2,775
50
Alabama
2,007
25
Georgia
2,761
US average
$2,992
26
Kansas
2,748
N.Y.S. % above avg.
50.9%
Source: Public Policy Institute calculations from US Census Bureau data


State and Local Taxes Per $1,000 Personal Income, 1999
Rank
State
Amt.
Rank
State
Amt.
1
NEW YORK
$140
27
Louisiana
$108
2
Maine
139
28
Iowa
108
3
Wisconsin
127
29
Georgia
108
4
Minnesota
123
30
Nebraska
108
5
Hawaii
123
31
Kansas
108
6
Vermont
122
32
Pennsylvania
107
7
New Mexico
122
33
North Carolina
106
8
Connecticut
121
34
Illinois
105
9
Utah
117
35
Oklahoma
105
10
West Virginia
117
36
South Carolina
105
11
Rhode Island
116
37
Indiana
105
12
North Dakota
115
38
Maryland
105
13
New Jersey
114
39
Alaska
103
14
Michigan
114
40
Colorado
102
15
California
114
41
Nevada
102
16
Wyoming
113
42
Virginia
102
17
Idaho
113
43
Missouri
102
18
Arkansas
113
44
Florida
100
19
Delaware
112
45
Oregon
100
20
Washington
111
46
Texas
97
21
Kentucky
111
47
South Dakota
95
22
Mississippi
111
48
Alabama
91
23
Ohio
110
49
New Hampshire
88
24
Montana
109
50
Tennessee
88
25
Arizona
109
US average
$110
26
Massachusetts
109
N.Y.S. % above avg.
27.6%
Source: Public Policy Institute calculations from US Census Bureau data
Figures rounded to nearest dollar


-30-