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May 12, 2003

Low Tax New York City

With all the screaming about increased taxes in New York-- mostly from Murdoch's New York Post-- it's nice to see this report on a counter-conventional wisdom fact, namely that many New Yorkers have lower taxes than other city residents. Yep, you heard that right:

In a study published last summer by the District of Columbia comparing the taxes owed by families in the district and in each state's largest city, the overall major tax burden on lower-income New Yorkers was lower than the burden on comparable people in 24 of the cities studied, including Minneapolis and Seattle.
One big reason is that property taxes are dirt-cheap- "the effective property tax rate in New York City, taking into account the assessment level, ranked fifth from the bottom, just above Cheyenne, Wyo." The tax burden gets heavier, relatively, as incomes go up:
As for New Yorkers, the estimated tax burden for a family making $25,000 was comparable to that for a similar family in Omaha. The New York family owed 7.2 percent of its income slightly less than the average for families at that income level in the 51 cities.

But the tax burden on a New York family making $50,000 ranked 11th out of 51, between Louisville, Ky., and Milwaukee.

Which is how it should be. Those with the least shouldn't be hit harder with taxes, while those with more should give a bit more. It's called progressive taxation and hail New York City for practicing it.

Posted by Nathan at May 12, 2003 08:26 AM

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I'm from Philadelphia -- home of the infamous wage tax (4.54% for Philly residents, 3.96% for non-Philly residents). Since I started working in NYC 5 years ago, I've always found New Yorkers and commuters whining about NYC taxes (inc. the commuter tax) to be really funny. Philly commuters would kill to pay only .45% (the old commuter tax) or whatever the percentage Bloomberg is proposing (which is still less than what Philly commuters have to pay).

Posted by: Cincinnatus C at May 12, 2003 12:22 PM

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