Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

For Release — July 11, 2008

Business Council says upstate's continuing loss of population must be a wake up call to state leaders

Albany- “This week's census data showing continued loss of population across upstate New York must serve as a wake up call to our lawmakers. New Yorkers are voting with their feet because of the state's crushing tax burden,” said Kenneth Adams, president & CEO of The Business Council of New York State. “New York's elected leaders, at both the state and local level, must find ways to reduce spending and lower taxes.”

New York's combined state and local tax burden for FY 2005-2006 was $6,405, the highest in the nation and 57 percent above the national average, according to analysis of Census Bureau data compiled by the Public Policy Institute, The Business Council's research affiliate, and posted at www.ppinys.org as part of its Just the Facts compendium of data on key economic indicators.

The analysis also shows that New Yorkers paid, on average, $151 per $1,000 of their personal income in taxes, again the highest in the nation and 37 percent above the national average.
“With a tax burden so out of line with the rest of the country it is no surprise that people and jobs are leaving our state,” added Adams. “The only way to stop this exodus is to lower spending and lower taxes.”

“Perhaps the most onerous tax in New York is the property tax. That is why Gov. David Paterson's proposal for a property tax cap is so important. The cap is the first step in returning some fiscal discipline to New York's school districts to begin the process of lowering property taxes,” said Adams.