The Big Apple Bite


New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg brags about discouraging smoking by slapping a $1.50 city tax on each pack of cigarettes, in addition to an already hefty $1.50 state tax. But even New Yorkers who don't smoke are wheezing under a heavy tax burden, often for engaging in activities —employing people, earning a living, buying goods and services—that Bloomberg presumably does not want to eliminate. According to a February analysis by the city's Independent Budget Office, New York is the most heavily taxed of the nine U.S. cities with populations exceeding 1 million.

New York's state and local tax burden, including income, property, sales, utility, and various other taxes, was $9.02 per $100 of "taxable resources" (household incomes plus business surpluses) in 2003–04. That was 47 percent more than the average burden for the nine cities and 73 percent more than the burden in Dallas, which ranked last.