Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Report: Upstate pays state less in taxes than it receives

Upstate New York pays the state less in taxes and other revenue than it receives back in state expenditures, according to a report from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the University at Albany.

About 24 percent of taxes and revenues collected by New York state in 2010 came from the upstate region, according to the report, titled “Giving and Getting.” But upstate New York received about 35 percent of state spending.

The Rockefeller Institute classified upstate New York as including 48 counties that are not part of the Capital Region, New York City, or the five-county downstate suburbs linked to New York City.

The Capital Region — made up of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties — also paid the state less than it received. It paid just below 4 percent of the state’s total taxes and receipts and received 7 percent of state spending.

Meanwhile, New York City and its downstate suburbs paid the state more than they received in expenditures.

New York City contributed more than 45 percent of all state taxes and revenues. It received about 40 percent of expenditures in return, according to the report.

Downstate suburbs in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam counties gave the state 24 percent or 27 percent of its taxes and revenues, depending on calculation methods used. Those areas took home around 18 percent of state funding, the Rockefeller Institute report found.

The report calculated receipts paid and expenditures received in each region using various methods — by place of residence and by place of work. Each method showed that upstate New York and the Capital Region received more than they paid, while New York City and its downstate suburbs paid more than they received.

Upstate New York would have lost between $8.1 billion and $9.3 billion if its share of state-funded expenditures matched the revenues it contributed, according to the Rockefeller Institute. The Capital Region would have lost about $2.7 billion.

New York City would have received an additional $4.1 billion to $6.1 billion in state funding if state expenditures matched revenues from the city, the report found. Downstate suburbs would have gained $4.6 billion to $7.9 billion.

The New York City–based Citizens Budget Commission, which describes itself as a nonprofit civic organization focused on changing the finances and services of New York City and New York state government, commissioned the report. It was supported by a grant from the New York Community Trust, a New York City–based community foundation with more than $1.9 billion in almost 2,000 individual charitable funds.