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Tax Facts for New Yorkers

From Henry Kramer, Tompkins County GOP Media and Communications Liaison:

The following story appeared on Fox News today and shows some remarkably disturbing facts for New Yorkers.  Note that despite Barbara Lifton's claims about how good NY is for business and how no one will leave, we are rated last on total tax and regulatory burden, and she wants to make these burdens worse.

At a recent town hall meeting, Lifton threw in another tax, 100% (not a misprint) of wealth to go to the state at death (a 100% death tax, no inheritance).  I presume this would mean you could not will your home or anything you had left to your spouse, children, or anyone else.  Barbara and the State would get it.  A great incentive to older people to sell and move out.  During the Tom Reynolds campaign, Lifton said on videotape that she would do away with your basic STAR tax exemption.  And, Lifton and Sheldon Silver are pushing to increase taxes for wealthy New Yorkers --- that of course will not encourage them to stay here and pay our level of taxes.

State tax burden in NY is now virtually equal to our federal tax burden.

The Tax Man Cometh: How Does Your State Compare?

By William La Jeunesse

Published March 02, 2011

While most Americans focus on federal tax rates, a new report shows the state and local tax burden can be equally painful.

The average tax burden in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey exceeds 12 percent, which is roughly equal to the national federal income tax average of 12.2 percent.

But the lengthy study by the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank, found more remarkable comparisons between states.

For example, the five lowest tax states, Wyoming, Tennessee, South Dakota, Nevada and Alaska pay about 40 percent less in taxes than the highest tax states, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin and Rhode Island.

Why the disparity? For Alaska and Wyoming, massive oil and gas revenues make them outliers. Nevada enjoys sizable gaming and tourism income. 

But experts say the decisions and political choices of lawmakers also play a role in how much states tax their residents.

"How much lawmakers spend is driven by who elects them," said Tax Foundation economist Marc Robyn. "A small government state, they elect small government type leaders and they won't be spending as much."

There is also a massive disparity among states that are friendly to business. When researchers combined the costs of government regulation and red tape with the total tax burden of income, property, sales, corporate and unemployment taxes, the worst states to do business are New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut and Ohio. The best are South Dakota, Alaska, Wyoming, Nevada and Florida. Powerhouse Texas comes in at 13.

"Voters can feel like they are being trampled under foot. But if enough momentum builds and people really want to change things they can vote for a lower tax state or move to a lower tax state," said Robyn.

That is easier said than done, but in three states where the tax burden has steadily grown, voters recently elected tight fisted Republican governors who ran on promises of fiscal responsibility.

For example, Ohio and Indiana used to be among the 10 most tax-thrifty states dating back to 1970s. Now they are among the worst, dropping 20 spots in national rankings. Both elected Republicans, along with perennial loser Wisconsin, which ranks among the lower states in per capita income, but fourth highest in taxes.


You can watch the video (which I couldn't embed) here.  Thanks, Henry.

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