The report, the snappily named New York’s Balance of Payments in the Federal Budget: Fiscal Year 2016, found that New York sent $254 billion in tax payments to the federal government in 2015-16 and got $214 billion back in federal spending. That made New York one of 13 states with a negative tax payment balance with the federal government. Per capita, the state sent $12,914 per person to the federal government, the 4th highest amount in the county, and it got back $10,844 per person, the 26th highest amount in the country.
While New York takes its fair share of the budget in terms of overall grants from the federal government, it sits near the bottom of the country in terms of goods and services the federal government buys from the states, and spending on wages and salaries of federal employees. The state is also at the bottom of the pile when it comes to veterans benefits programs and benefits paid out to retired federal employees.
In terms of direct payments to individuals, New York State got $136 billion from the feds, placing the state fourth behind California, Florida and Texas. The state took in 11.4 percent more payments for Medicare when compared to the national average, and also got 57 percent more in Medicaid payments than the average given to states. The payments for Medicare and Medicaid are especially threatened by any Republican attempt to turn the programs into block grant funds, as seen in the previous attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
New York also took home the 4th highest amount of money in transit-related grants from the federal government, but the actual money involved is a paltry $1.2 billion out of $9.4 billion made available for such grants.
DiNapoli’s report says that it’s “open to interpretation” as to whether the deficit between paid taxes and federal spending is “inequitable,” but that it’s extremely clear that the state gives more than it gets in terms of tax payments.
This isn’t an unfamiliar point or complaint when it comes to red states versus blue states, but the report points out that the Trump administration’s budget priorities in health care and tax reform makes it uncertain as to what the future impact those priorities would have on New York State taxpayers.