This post originally appeared at

New York is the third-to-last state to reach Cost of Government Day, the day on which taxpayers are finally done paying off the cost of local, state and federal spending and regulations. New York celebrates their Cost of Government Day today: September 10.  While this is the first time New Yorkers have had to wait until September to pay for the size of their government, they are no strangers to laboring long into the year to achieve that dubious goal – both in 2009 and 2010 only two states have had later Cost of Government Days than the Empire state: New Jersey and Connecticut.  

Cost of Government Day (COGD) indicates the size of the government burden for a given state—the earlier it falls, the smaller the burden of government.   Thus, New York’s date of September 10th suggests that the burden of government is not only huge, it is exploding.

The national Cost of Government Day fell on August 19, meaning that New Yorkers had to work an additional 22 days in order to pay off their burdensome government.  In other words, the average American had to work for 231 days to pay their portion of the burden of government, while the average New Yorker had to work for 253 days.  After today, New Yorkers have the rest of the year—112 days—to earn for themselves.

Governor Paterson has financed his most recent spending binges by forcing tax hikes—one in a long line of tax hikers.  In the last eight years, New York taxpayers have been saddled with an additional $29.97 billion in taxes.  That amounts to an outrageous $1541.12 per New Yorker (every man, woman and child) in new taxes.  
Pundits have recently been claiming that New York could be in serious peril of something isn’t done to address the issue, particularly because higher tax rates drive people from the state. New York consistently bleeds population as taxpayers vote with their feet and leave the onerous burden of government in the Empire State for more friendly environments. Between 1998 and 2008, New York, along with the nine other states with the highest tax burdens, lost over 3 million residents, who took with them a staggering $92 billion in income.

That New Yorkers are forced to work until the ninth month of the year is a sobering tale of what big government, high taxes and excessive spending do to the families who are left footing the bill. Absent significant and serious reform, however, Empire State taxpayers have little reason to hope next year’s Cost of Government Day will be any earlier.

Click here for ATR and CFA's press release.

Photo Credit: Tony the Misfit