When running for governor in 2010, Andrew Cuomo pledged in his book “The New N.Y. Agenda: A Plan for Action” to freeze taxes “because New Yorkers—already among the most taxed in the nation—cannot afford to pay more taxes than they do already.” He would “veto any increase in personal or corporate income taxes or sales taxes.”
As for the so-called “millionaire’s tax,” Cuomo made it clear he was opposed to extending it beyond 2011. “I was against it at the time, and I still am. It’s a new tax. It was supposed to sunset. If it doesn’t sunset it’s a tax,” he said.
Well, the governor not only extended the “millionaire’s tax” twice, he raised other taxes and created new ones.
Re-reading Cuomo’s 2010 manifesto, I realized raising taxes was not the only promise he breached. Cuomo has failed:
- to Restructure State Operations;
- to Make Medicaid More Efficient;
- to make Education More Efficient;
- to Provide Mandate Relief;
- to right size public authorities;
- to eliminate state government policies that have contributed to our economic problems;
- to eliminate economic development policies that are wasteful, fragmented, and ineffective.
And the costs of these failures are hurting the state as two recently published reports have documented.
The annual “Rich States, Poor States,” study prepared by the American Legislative Exchange Council, once again places New York at the bottom of the heap.
Here’s how New York stacks up versus the other states in the U.S: (#1 is best, #50 is worst)
- Effective Top Marginal Corporate Income tax rate (12.21 percent): 50th place
- Effective Top Marginal Personal Income Tax Rate (12.70 percent): 49th place
- Property Tax Burden: 45th place
- Sales Tax Burden: 33rd place
- Estate Tax levy: 50th place
- Public Employees per 10,000 of population (600): 42nd place
- State Minimum Wage: 45th place
- Average Workers Compensation Costs: 48th place
New York’s Personal Income Taxes and Corporate Taxes are far higher than the nation’s median; 12.70 percent versus 5.75 percent and 17.21 percent versus 6.77 percent, respectively.
These dreary economic and fiscal rankings, help explain why New York “lost more people through domestic migration in the past decade than any other state.”
The ALEC report concludes that no one should be surprised that in the past decade 1.3 million New Yorkers have opted “to move to greener pastures rather than endure a top combined state and local marginal tax rate of 12.7%—the highest in the Northeast—and the worst economic outlook ranking in America.”
Interestingly, Texas and Florida, the states with the highest in-migration “levy no taxes on personal income.”
The U.S. Census bureau report, released in mid-April, confirm ALEC’s population findings.
Between April 1, 2017, and July 1, 2018, 46 of the state’s 62 counties lost population.
“Of New York’s 10 economic regions,” the Empire Center has pointed out, “the North Country experienced the highest percentage of population loss due to net migration—a drop of 6% as a result of more people moving out than moving in. The Southern Tier and Central New York saw a net migration of more than 3%.”
Even New York City has not been immune to net out migration. According to the census update, the City lost 40,000 people. “The loss,” the N.Y. Times observed, “suggests that New York’s robust post-recession expansion since 2010 has finally slowed…”
Don’t expect these population and economic trend lines to change much during Cuomo’s third term in office. The director of Unshackle Upstate, Michael Kracker, has warned “that proposed legislation [in Albany] to require overtime pay for farm workers and allow them to join unions threatens to hurt agricultural businesses.” He added, “a series of recent increases in New York’s minimum wage has already weakened the business climate.”
Governor Cuomo’s “New N.Y. Agenda,” which he claimed would be based on “hard economic realities, a demand for performance, insistence on a clean government … to make it happen” has been a dud.
And as Cuomo moves further and further to the left of the political spectrum, expect the state’s fiscal and economic problems to get worse.
George J. Marlin, a former executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is the author of "The American Catholic Voter: Two Hundred Years of Political Impact," and "Christian Persecutions in the Middle East: A 21st Century Tragedy." He is chairman of Aid to the Church in Need-USA. Mr. Marlin also writes for TheCatholicThing.org and the Long Island Business News. To read more George J. Marlin — Click Here Now.
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