Mujica
"70 percent of the income tax that the state collects happens to come from Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and New York City"

Robert Mujica on Thursday, January 18th, 2018 in a radio interview

True

Do downstate NY residents contribute more in income tax than upstate?

State Budget Director Robert Mujica claimed more than two-thirds of income revenue in New York state comes from downstate residents. (Courtesy: Cuomo's Flickr account)

More than two-thirds of income tax collected by New York state comes from downstate residents, the state’s budget chief said.

"The reality is that 70 percent of the income tax that the state collects happens to come from Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and New York City," state Budget Director Robert Mujica said in a radio interview.

Mujica was defending a proposal to overhaul the state’s tax code that would primarily benefit the state’s high-income earners. Many of the earners live in New York City and its suburban counties.

Is Mujica right that 70 percent of the state’s income tax revenue comes from the New York City area?

In context

State lawmakers are considering several options to respond to the new federal tax code’s cap on state and local tax deductions. The new federal law caps those deductions at $10,000.

One proposal would shift state income tax from the employee to the employer. Businesses and corporations can still deduct state and local taxes without a cap under the new tax law.

The employee would no longer pay a state income tax, but the employer would take on a new, deductible tax. The shift would be voluntary. If a business did not want to make the change, it could choose not to do so.

The proposal would primarily benefit residents with higher incomes who could no longer deduct their full income tax.

Data

The state collected more than $47.5 billion in income taxes in the last fiscal year, according to the state Division of Budget.

About $19.2 billion, or 40 percent, came from New York City residents alone. Those in Westchester, Nassau, and Suffolk counties paid $12.1 billion in state income taxes.

The total for those in New York City and the three counties came to $31.3 billion, or 66 percent of the state total.

Another $7.8 billion came from non-residents who commuted into New York state for work. Most of those filers worked in New York City, according to a spokesperson from the agency.

If you add the revenue from non-residents to that of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island filers, the share increases to 82 percent of the state total.

The New York City region’s high share of income tax revenue shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering its population.

Close to 12.3 million people live in New York City, Westchester and on Long Island. That counts for about 62 percent of the state’s total population.

Residents in upstate counties, meanwhile, paid close to $8.4 billion in income taxes, or about 18 percent of the state total.

Our ruling

Mujica said "70 percent of the income tax that the state collects happens to come from Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and New York City."

The actual number is somewhere between 66 percent and 82 percent, according to data from the state Division of Budget. Upstate counties only provide about 18 percent of the state’s income tax revenue.

We rate his claim True.

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"70 percent of the income tax that the state collects happens to come from Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk and New York City"
New York
Thursday, January 18, 2018