Reducing New York’s Massive Tax Burden is Essential to Rebuilding the Economy

By Brian Sampson | October 29, 2020

As New York State grapples with a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall, the usual parade of tax-and-spend special interests are calling on state leaders to raise taxes. Those calls ignore the unfortunate reality about New York’s harsh tax climate.

In an effort to shine a much-needed light on this important issue, our organization recently published a fact sheet called Taxed Out: Assessing New York’s Massive Tax Burden. The document clearly points out that New York’s tax burden has been too high for too long.

Let’s examine the facts. According to the Tax Foundation, New York leads the nation in state and local income tax collections per capita. We also have the highest state and local tax burden in the country. Only the District of Columbia, New Hampshire and New Jersey collect more property taxes per capita than New York. The Empire State also ranks poorly for its gas tax rate (7th highest), wireless tax rate (5th highest) and sales tax rate (10th highest). Over the last 10 years, the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index found that New York’s business tax climate has not ranked better than 48th.

Governor Cuomo has repeatedly said that “…New York has no future as the high tax capital of the world…” and he’s right. Adding to the burden of taxpayers across the state is simply the wrong approach. From 2010 through 2018, at least 1.4 million New Yorkers have fled New York in search of lower taxes and employment opportunities. Raising taxes now would be like pouring gasoline on a raging fire. We can rescue our economy and revive our communities by embracing pro-growth measures that will bolster small businesses and bring back jobs.

In September, we released an economic recovery agenda called Fast Forward – A Rapid Recovery Plan for the Upstate Economy. This agenda advanced several pro-growth measures that will jumpstart our economic recovery. Enacting meaningful tax relief and reforming anti-businesses policies are essential to the survival of New York State.

Over the last 8 months, as we battled this historic health crisis, elected leaders have called on New Yorkers to be tough and smart. Moving forward, millions of overburdened taxpayers need our leaders in Albany to stand tough against calls for higher taxes and be smart as we rebuild our economy.

Brian Sampson is Chairman of Unshackle Upstate and President of Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter.