Empire Center ranks local taxes, spending, and debt across New York


This week, the Empire Center for Public Policy released its annual Benchmarking New York report, comparing and ranking government tax, spending and debt levels for hundreds of counties, towns, cities and villages throughout New York.

The Center also updated its unique Benchmarking New York web app, which lets users compare detailed rankings of major fiscal indicators for any municipality alone, or for up to four localities at a time. The online database—the most extensive comparable local database of its kind in New York—also includes statewide and regional rankings of each municipality by type in dozens of revenue and spending categories.

The tool uses statistics gathered annually by the Office of the State Comptroller and Empire Center calculations to provide taxpayers with benchmarks that allow comparisons between local governments using more than 100 criteria. The categories range from state aid and tax receipts to public safety spending and sanitation costs.

The per-capita data, from each local government’s 2018 fiscal year, show:

A small number of local governments are not included because they failed to report data to the state comptroller’s office.

SeeThroughNY also features a property tax calculator, which allows users to compare the “all-in” combined county, municipal and school property tax bills of communities outside New York City and Nassau County.

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