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For Release — Friday, January 18, 2008

UPDATED DATA SHOW THAT NEW YORK REMAINS AMONG THE NATION'S
BIGGEST TAXERS AND SPENDERS IN KEY CATEGORIES


ALBANY—New York's state and local governments spend more than most or all states in key categories of government spending, impose the nation's heaviest overall tax burden, and have the highest or nearly highest taxes in several key categories, according to newly updated data compiled by The Business Council's research affiliate.

The updated data were compiled and analyzed by the Public Policy Institute, The Business Council's research affiliate, and posted today to at www.ppinys.org as part of its Just the Facts compendium of data on key economic indicators.

Twelve updated tables of data, comparing taxes and spending in all 50 states, have been added to Just the Facts.

Taxes: The tables on New York's tax burden include information on the overall tax burden, property taxes, income taxes, local taxes, state taxes, the sales tax, and gasoline and diesel taxes. Most of these data, the latest available, are 2004-05 fiscal year data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Information on motor fuel taxes comes from the American Petroleum Institute and reflects 2008 information.

Overall state and local tax burden: New York's combined state and local tax burden in the 2004/2005 fiscal year was $5,768—the highest in the nation and 56 percent above the national average. New Yorkers paid, on average, $141 per $1000 of their personal income in taxes that year—the second highest amount in the nation and 32 percent above the national average.

Per-capita property taxes: New York's per-capita property taxes for the 2004-2005 FY totaled $1,773—the fourth highest amount in the nation and 56 percent above the national average of $1,134.

Income taxes: The state's combined individual income taxes in 2004-2005 fiscal year were $1,809 per capita—122 percent above the national average of $814 and the highest per-capita average in the nation. That same year, these corporate income taxes were the third highest in the nation per capita at $363—149 percent above the national average of of $146.

Local and state taxes: New York's per-capita local tax burden was the highest in the nation in the 2004-2005 fiscal year, totaling $3,162—109 percent above the national average of $1515. That same year, per-capita state taxes were 19 percent above the national average and the eleventh highest in the nation at $2,606.

State and local sales taxes: Data for the 2004-2005 fiscal year from the U.S. Census Bureau show the per-capita amount of general sales tax in New York was $1,095—23 percent above the national average and the 11th highest in the nation.

Motor fuel taxes: New York motorists pay the third highest gasoline tax in the country. As of January 1, 2008, New York's total state gasoline tax was 41.2 cents per gallon—62 percent above the national average of 25.4 cents. The same data, from the American Petroleum Institute, show that New Yorkers using diesel fuel are at a similar disadvantage paying 40.3 cents per gallon on diesel fuel in taxes—54 percent above the national average and the fifth highest amount in the country.

Spending: The tables on government spending include information on the number of government employees, their public-employee salaries and pensions, welfare spending, school spending, New York's debt burden, state spending, and local spending. These data all come from the U.S. Census Bureau and are the latest available.

Combined state and local spending: Total combined state and local spending in 2004-2005 fiscal year was $11,836 – second only to Alaska and 48 percent above the national average of $8,017.

Government salaries: 2006 Census Bureau data show that state and local government workers in New York were paid, on average, the fourth highest salaries in the nation in 2006—$54,503 or 21 percent above the national average of $45,173.

Number of government workers: 2006 Census Bureau data also show that the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees in New York was also above average in 2006. With 62 workers per 1,000 residents that year, the state had 14 percent more employees per 1,000 residents than the national average. Only ten states had a higher ratio of residents to government workers.

Public-employee pensions: Analysis of 2006 Census Bureau data show that current beneficiaries of New York's state and local pension systems receive an average annual benefit of $24,293—17 percent above the national average of $20,829 and the 6th highest benefit in the country. The same data show that, on average, New York state and local government employees contribute 2.5 percent towards total pension receipts in New York—well below the national average of 8.3 percent and among the 10 lowest contributions in the nation.

Debt burden: New York's total combined state and local per-capita debt in the 2004-2005 fiscal year was $12,102—73 percent above the national average of $6,985 and the third highest average in the nation.

Education spending: State and local governments spent $2,201 per capita on elementary and secondary education in the 2004-2005 fiscal year—38 percent above the national average and the third highest amount in the country. At the same time, the state's combined per-capita higher education spending was $490—lower than 44 other states and 21 percent below the national average. (On a per-pupil basis, New York State spends more than any other state.)

State and local welfare spending: New York spent $2,214 per capita on welfare in the 2004-2005 fiscal year—more than any other state in the nation and 81 percent above that year's national average of $1,223.

All tables in Just the Facts are available at www.ppinys.org/reports/JustTheFacts.html.

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