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For Release — Tuesday, December 11, 2007

UPDATED DATA IN PPI'S JUST THE FACTS CONFIRM STATE'S HIGH BUSINESS COSTS, AND SHOW THE STATE'S AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS AMONG NATION'S HIGHEST
But the state's unemployment insurance tax rate is slightly below average

ALBANY—A prominent national index ranks New York's overall cost of doing business among the highest in the country—but the state's unemployment insurance costs are now below average.

Those are among the trends documented by updated new tables in the Public Policy Institute's Just the Facts series. A third new comparison shows that the average cost of automobile insurance in the state is among the highest in the country.

All tables in Just the Facts, the Institute's on-line compendium of key economic and social indicators, can be found at www.ppinys.org/reports/JustTheFacts.html.

New York's average effective unemployment insurance tax rate in 2007 is 0.6 percent, among the 20 lowest rates in the country, and 18 percent below the national average rate of 0.73 percent. These data, from the U.S. Department of Labor, measure the average tax rates on total wages.

But New York's overall cost of doing business was second highest in the nation in 2007, according to a new Just the Facts table showing scores from the Milken Institute's 2007 Cost-of-Doing-Business Index.

The Empire State's overall index score was based on average annual wages, electricity costs, rent costs for office and industrial space, and tax burden.

New York's index score in four of those areas was in the top 10, scoring around the national average only in tax burden. In the fifth area, tax burden, the Milken Index considers only state taxes as a function of personal income—the percentage of workers' paychecks that goes to state taxes.

Another recent analysis ranked New York's overall business tax climate among worst in the nation. That analysis, by the Tax Foundation, reported that New York's tax climate ranks 48th worst in the nation. That calculation, which was added to Just the Facts in November, is a broader analysis that includes corporate taxes, personal income taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, and property taxes.

The state's average auto insurance policy was $1,122 in 2005—the second highest in the country and 35 percent above the national average. The new insurance data, which used information from the Insurance Information Institute, also showed that New Yorkers paid 54 percent more than the national average on the liability portion of their auto premium alone.