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On the Bright Side

April 14, 2014

Study: New York is No. 1 -- in taxes

(Continued)

New York state has passed targeted tax cuts in the last three years, Seward said, but now it is time for broad-based tax cuts to provide relief and to recognize those who have remained in New York.

During the next three years, changes in estate taxes will mean 2,800 family farms won’t have to be sold to pay inheritance taxes, among other benefits to New Yorkers who otherwise might follow their financial planners advice to move out of state, he said.

The toughest portion of the tax burden is property taxes, Seward said, and the Tax Foundation study quantifies issues about New York taxes that he regularly hears from constituents.

Senior citizens struggle with whether they can afford to stay in their residences, Seward said, and young families wonder if they can afford a home.

FOUNDATION: STATE NEEDS REFORM

Liz Malm, a Tax Foundation economist, in a media release attributed New York’s No. 1 ranking to high income and property tax rates, as well as high property values and salaries compared with other states.

During the 2011 fiscal year, state-local tax burdens as a share of state incomes decreased on average as a result of growth of income in all states, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C., said. State-local tax burdens are very close to one another and slight changes in taxes or income can translate into dramatic shifts in rank.

“Though the annual burdens report won’t reflect the effects of recent changes for several years because of a lag in the availability of data,” Malm said, “New York’s 2011 state-local tax burden — the highest in the nation — shows just how necessary tax reform is in New York.”

STATE TAXES HELP SCHOOLS — AND PEOPLE

Gina Keel, assistant professor in the political science department at the State University College at Oneonta, said the foundation’s ranking for New York wasn’t a surprise.

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