New York Sends More Money to Washington Than it Gets Back

New York sent an estimated $24.1 billion more in tax payments to Washington than it got back in federal spending in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2017, getting back 90 cents for every dollar, according to a report released October 17 by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. In 2017, New York was one of just 11 states that sent more to Washington than it received. Only New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut fared worse while New Mexico fared the best.

DiNapoli’s report, a follow-up to analyses released in 2015 and 2017, shows federal spending in New York during FFY 2017 totaled $225.7 billion while the state sent Washington nearly $250 billion. Federal spending in New York included $140.5 billion in direct payments for individuals through programs such as Social Security and Medicare; $66.5 billion in grants; $11 billion in procurements; and $7.4 billion in wages and salaries.

While New York received 10 cents less per dollar of taxes, most states received more than they paid. The average return for all states was $1.19 per tax dollar sent to Washington. New York’s per capita contribution to the federal treasury, $12,588, was the fourth highest among the states. Connecticut had the highest per capita payments to the federal government at $14,671, followed by Massachusetts with $13,675 and New Jersey with $12,970. Mississippi generated the lowest per capita total tax payments at $5,884. New York’s total payments of nearly $250 billion ranked third among the states behind California and Texas.

Overall, New York state received 6 percent of total federal spending examined. The state generated 8 percent of $3.1 trillion in total federal tax revenue examined, which was higher than its shares of the U.S. population (6.1 percent) and of the nation’s personal income (7.4 percent). On a per capita basis, federal tax revenues from New York state were more than 30 percent higher than the national average.