From the “Economic and Revenue Outlook” volume of the 2011-12 Executive Budget, here’s the table showing the distribution of state personal income tax liability and adjusted gross income.


As usual, the numbers reflect an income tax structure that is effectively quite progressive.  By any measure, the wealthiest New Yorkers pay the lion’s share of the income tax, which accounts for about 60 percent of the state’s tax revenue.

Key takeaways from the 2011 tax year projections:

  • Taxpayers with incomes below $50,000 will make up nearly two-thirds of all filers but are expected to generate less than 4 percent of tax payments.
  • Taxpayers with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 will make up about 20 percent of all filers but will generate less than 16 percent of tax payments.
  • Those with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000 will comprise less than 11 percent of all taxpayers but will generate more than 19 percent of tax payments.
  • The 4.1 percent of filers earning more than $200,000 are expected to generate 61 percent of income tax payments, and more than half of that amount will come from the one-half of one percent of filers reporting over $1 million in income.

Note, also, that since 2008 there has been a slight increase in the share of tax liability borne by those with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000.  This would reflect natural growth in the number of New Yorkers earning in the low six figures–which, in the New York City metro area, fits squarely into the definition of middle class.  (Public sector salaries over $100,000 are increasingly common downstate, especially among police and teachers.)

About the Author

E.J. McMahon

Edmund J. McMahon is Empire Center's founder and a senior fellow.

Read more by E.J. McMahon

You may also like

Budget Deal Slows Medicaid Growth But Plants Seeds for Future Spending

The growth of New York's Medicaid spending is projected to slow but not stop as Governor Hochul and the Legislature effectively split their differences over health care in the newly enacted state budget. Read More

Albany Lawmakers Push a $4 Billion Tax on Health Insurance

Legislative leaders are proposing an additional $4 billion tax on health insurance plans in the upcoming state budget – but withholding specifics of how it would work. Read More

Hochul’s ‘Straight Talk’ on Medicaid Isn’t Straight Enough

Arguably the biggest Medicaid news in Governor Hochul's budget presentation was about the current fiscal year, not the next one: The state-run health plan is running substantially over budget. Read More

New York’s Medicaid Spending Is Running Billions Over Budget

New York's Medicaid program ran billions of dollars over budget during the first half of the fiscal year, adding to signs of a brewing fiscal crisis in Albany. According to the fro Read More

As migrants flow to NY, so does red ink 

The influx of foreign migrants to New York could cost the state $4.5 billion more than expected next year, Governor Hochul today warned.  Read More

The Bill Arrives: NY Faces $9B Budget Gap Next Year 

New York’s outyear budget gaps, the shortfall between planned state expenses and state tax receipts over the next three years, has exploded to more than $36 billion, just-released documents show.  Read More

NY school spending again led US, hitting all-time high in 2020-21

Public elementary and secondary school spending in New York rose to $26,571 per pupil in 2020-21, according to the latest Census Bureau data Read More

A Tale of Two Levies

New York school districts are getting record levels of state aid. But how many are using it to cut taxes? Read More