Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — Thursday, July 13, 2006


ALBANY—New York's overall state-and-local tax burden remains the heaviest in the country, and the state ranks at or near the top in property, income and sales taxes, a new data compilation by the Public Policy Institute shows.

The Institute, the research affiliate of The Business Council of New York State, updated its Just The Facts statistics on state and local taxes in New York and elsewhere. The analysis uses U.S. Census Bureau data for fiscal 2004 that were released recently, as well as other authoritative sources.

State and local taxes averaged $5,260 for every New Yorker in 2004, according to the Institute. That figure was the highest in the nation, 53 percent above the average for all states. Even after adjusting for personal incomes in each state, taxes in New York are still the highest, 32 percent above average.

Property taxes in the Empire State average $1,677 per capita. Only three states impose a heavier property-tax burden.

The average combined sales-tax rate in New York, 8.25 percent, is fourth-highest among the 50 states, the Institute found. That figure is 39 percent higher than the national average of just above 5.9 percent.

Personal-income taxes in New York are the highest in the nation, and over twice the national average, on a per-capita basis. Combined state and local corporate-income taxes are third-highest in the country.

Overall local taxes in New York are also the highest in the country, on a per-capita basis.
State-level taxes imposed by Albany average $2,280 per person, eighth-highest among the states and 20 percent above the national average.

Gasoline taxes in New York total more than 32 cents a gallon, one of the highest levels in the nation and a key reason gas prices are higher than those in neighboring states, Just The Facts shows.

New York's high taxes reflect high levels of government spending. Overall state and local spending in the Empire State averaged $10,392 per person. That figure was thousands of dollars higher than those in states such as Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and Vermont, the Institute found. The state is also a leader in spending on individual programs such as welfare and education.

In addition to taxing more than other states, New York and its local governments borrow more heavily. State and local governments in New York have accumulated more than $11,300 in debt, on average, for every resident. That figure is 71 percent more than the national average.

The Institute's Just The Facts statistics are available at www.ppinys.org/reports/JustTheFacts.html.