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For Release — Saturday, July 24, 2004

NEW CENSUS BUREAU DATA SHOW NEW YORK ONCE AGAIN LEADS THE NATION IN STATE AND LOCAL TAXES

ALBANY, N.Y.— No matter how you measure it, New York State is still No. 1 in combined state and local taxes, a Public Policy Institute analysis of new U.S. Census Bureau data shows.

As of fiscal 2002, New York's state and local taxes averaged $4,645 for every state resident. That figure was the highest in the country, and some 48 percent above the national average of $3,149 per person. \

That adds up to a total additional tax burden of $28.6 billion on New Yorkers, compared to what they would pay if state and local taxes here were on a par with the national average, according to the Public Policy Institute, the research affiliate of The Business Council of New York State.

Using another common measure, state and local taxes in New York averaged $131 for every $1,000 of personal income residents earned. That figure is also the highest in the country, 26 percent above average.

The data do not include the state-level tax increases New York's Legislature imposed in 2003, nor the property-tax increases most counties and school districts imposed over the last two years.

Local taxes in the Empire State are especially far out of line with competing states. As of 2002, New Yorkers paid an average of $2,384 per person in property and other taxes to school districts, municipalities and county governments. That figure was 85 percent above the average for all states.

Besides high taxes, New York's state and local-government leaders have incurred a heavy debt burden on behalf of taxpayers. The Institute's analysis found that state and local debt in New York adds up to $10,306 for every state resident, the second-heaviest debt burden in the nation.

High taxes and heavy debt are driven by high spending levels. The state government, school districts, counties, cities, towns and other governmental units spent an average of $10,376 per capita in 2002. That figure was 46 percent above the national average. New York leads the nation in Medicaid spending and is among the national leaders in spending on education, welfare and other programs.

The Institute analyzed new data posted on the Census Bureau Web site July 15. The Census data, which include detailed financial figures for each state, are available at www.census.gov/govs/www/estimate02.html.

The new Census data on state and local government finances also showed that New York's combined state and local taxes on individual income are more than twice the national average, as are corporate income taxes, on a per-capita basis. General sales taxes, per capita, were 11 percent higher in New York than nationally.

State and Local Taxes Per Capita, 2002
Rank
State
Amt.
 
Rank
State
Amt.
1
NEW YORK
$4,645
 
27
New Hampshire
$2,825
2
Connecticut

4,373

 
28
Georgia
2,816
3
New Jersey
4,038
 
29
Indiana
2,759
4
Massachusetts
3,721
 
30
North Dakota
2,727
5
Minnesota
3,673
 
31
Louisiana
2,722
6
Maryland
3,646
 
32
North Carolina
2,718
7
Wyoming
3,644
 
33
Texas
2,713
8
Maine
3,507
 
34
Florida
2,686
9
California
3,440
 
35
Missouri
2,667
10
Wisconsin
3,421
 
36
Arizona
2,650
11
Hawaii
3,416
 
37
Kentucky
2,636
12
Rhode Island
3,392
 
38
New Mexico
2,634
13
Delaware
3,334
 
39
Utah
2,599
14
Illinois
3,303
 
40
West Virginia
2,571
15
Alaska
3,229
 
41
Oregon
2,558
16
Washington
3,216
 
42
Oklahoma
2,516
17
Vermont
3,190
 
43
Idaho
2,451
18
Ohio
3,170
 
44
South Dakota
2,423
19
Colorado
3,088
 
45
Arkansas
2,387
20
Nebraska
3,077
 
46
South Carolina
2,376
21
Pennsylvania
3,052
 
47
Montana
2,346
22
Michigan
3,051
 
48
Mississippi
2,275
23
Virginia
3,037
 
49
Tennessee
2,241
24
Nevada
2,968
 
50
Alabama
2,170
25
Kansas
2,941
  U.S. average
$3,149
26
Iowa
2,837
  N.Y.S. % above avg.
47.5%
Source: Public Policy Institute calculations from U.S. Census Bureau data

 

State and Local Taxes Per $1,000 Personal Income, 2002
Rank
State
Amt.
 
Rank
State
Amt.
1
NEW YORK
$131
 
27
Connecticut
$104
2
Maine
130
 
28
Alaska
103
3
Wyoming
122
 
29
Illinois
101
4
Hawaii
121
 
30
Nevada
101
5
Wisconsin
117
 
31
Pennsylvania
101
6
Rhode Island
114
 
32
Washington
101
7
Minnesota
113
 
33
Indiana
100
8
West Virginia
112
 
34
Georgia
100
9
New Mexico
111
 
35
North Carolina
100
10
Louisiana
111
 
36
Idaho
100
11
Ohio
111
 
37
Oklahoma
100
12
Vermont
111
 
38
Montana
98
13
Utah
108
 
39
Missouri
96
14
Nebraska
108
 
40
Massachusetts
96
15
Delaware
107
 
41
South Carolina
96
16
Kentucky
106
 
42
Texas
95
17
California
106
 
43
Virginia
95
18
North Dakota
105
 
44
Florida
94
19
Arizona
104
 
45
Colorado
92
20
Maryland
104
 
46
Oregon
91
21
New Jersey
104
 
47
South Dakota
90
22
Arkansas
104
 
48
Alabama
88
23
Mississippi
104
 
49
New Hampshire
85
24
Iowa
104
 
50
Tennessee
84
25
Michigan
104
  U.S. average
$104
26
Kansas
104
N.Y.S. % above avg.
26%
Source: Public Policy Institute calculations from U.S. Census Bureau data
Dollar figures are rounded

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