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December 17, 2002

Study: High taxes, debt, and job-creation costs lessen New York's competitiveness; technology strengthens it

A new study offers new evidence that New York's competitiveness would improve if it cut its overall tax burden, government debt, and other costs of job creation, including workers' compensation and electricity costs.

The study also highlighted New York's strength in technology as a strong competitive advantage.

The Metro Area and State Competitiveness Report 2002 shows these costs of job creation affecting the competitiveness of Buffalo, Rochester, and New York City. The Beacon Hill Institute of Suffolk University in Boston released the report December 10.

The study ranked the competitiveness of the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas. In the study, New York City, Rochester, and Buffalo ranked 37th, 41st, and 49th, respectively. Seattle, San Francisco, and Boston were judged the nation's most competitive metropolitan areas.

The study weighed more than three dozen variables to evaluate each metropolitan center in 11 different categories, including government and fiscal policy, infrastructure, technology, finance and costs, openness to business, and environmental policy.

The study showed that:

The study deemed a metropolitan area competitive if it had in place "the policies and conditions that ensure and sustain a high level of per capita income and its continued growth," the report said. "To achieve this, a metro area needs to be able both to attract and incubate new businesses and to provide an environment that is conducive to the growth of existing firms."