Crain's New York Business Blog Uses Tax Foundation's State Tax Burden Data

January 31, 2012

"A journalist's absurdly high NY tax bill"

by Greg David

Amid the debate over Mitt Romney's 14% effective tax rate, comes a piece from financial journalist James Stewart that illuminates the issue and highlights successful New Yorkers' incredibly high tax rate.

Mr. Stewart is, for my money, one of the most important business journalists of the last two decades-a star Wall Street Journal reporter whose books, from Den of Thieves to DisneyWars, have served as textbooks on reporting. He recently took his talents to The New York Times, where his Saturday column, "Common Sense," is a must-read.

Last week he compared his tax return to Mitt Romney's in a piece called "A Taxpayer's Lament." The bottom line: Mr. Stewart's combined federal, state and local tax rate is 49% of his taxable income and 74% of his adjusted gross income.

How's that for those who want to make the rich pay more? We don't know if Mr. Stewart is rich but we do know that he is penalized because he is gets most of his income from freelance work and because he lives in New York City.


We know which states have lower tax burdens, and it is easy to compare tax loads through the excellent work by the Tax Foundation (New York always ranks in the Top 3 alternating in rank with New Jersey and Connecticut).

Comparing cities is much more difficult. The only good study is a 2007 effort by the Independent Budget Office which showed that the combined state and local tax burden in New York City was 90% higher than the average of the nation's 10 largest cities. ...

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