NY Continues to Send More Federal Tax Dollars To Washington Than It Gets in Return: Report

Real Estate In-Depth | January 2020

Thomas P. DiNapoli, New York State Comptroller

ALBANY—New York paid $26.6 billion more in taxes to the federal government in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2018 than it got back in federal spending, ranking it last among the states, according to a report released on Jan. 14 by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“For every dollar New York generates in tax receipts it receives 90 cents back in federal spending, compared to the national average of $1.21,” DiNapoli said. “We’re already getting less from Washington than what we give, which makes the upcoming 2020 Census so critical. New York must do all it can to ensure a complete and accurate count of its residents to maximize our population count, which impacts our federal aid and representation in Congress.”

New York was one of just seven states that paid more tax dollars than it received back in spending, with a per capita deficit of $1,363. Per capita balance of payments is the difference between taxes paid to Washington and federal spending received. Only the neighboring states of New Jersey (-$2,792) and Massachusetts (-$1,419) fared worse.

Seven of the 10 states with the largest positive balances of payments were in the southern or southwestern parts of the country. New Mexico had the top balance with a per capita surplus of $10,671, followed by Mississippi ($8,939), Alaska ($8,727), West Virginia ($8,536) and Virginia ($8,189).

The gap has consistently remained negative from $19.9 billion in 2013 to $40.9 billion in 2016 and $24.1 billion in 2017. New York’s FFY 2018 balance of payments deficit of $26.6 billion resulted from an increase of $4 billion in taxes paid by New Yorkers and a $1.5-billion increase in federal spending in the state, compared to FFY 2017.

Overall, New York generated 8% of the $3.2 trillion in federal tax receipts in FFY 2018, nearly $254 billion, while receiving 6% or $227 billion of total federal spending examined for the analysis. On a per capita basis, federal tax revenues from New York were more than a third higher than the national average, partly because of higher incomes in the state.