Robert Coly

Publication Date



Government, Environment


During the fiscal year 2004-05, New Yorker’s paid approximately $111 billion in state and local taxes. Of this total, local taxes accounted for 55% or $61 billion. Local tax revenues come mainly from the property tax and sales tax, which account for $34 billion and $10 billion, respectively. Taxes are important to development for two reasons. First, the tax burden on low and middle class families affects local citizen’s standard of life, access to affordable housing, and level of expendable income. Second, states and municipalities have long relied on lowering taxes and providing tax incentives as their primary tools for attracting business. Traditional tax strategies must be re-examined because of problems in both areas.