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A heavy tax burden

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The U.S. Senate Budget Committee estimated that in 2011 the average household under the poverty line received $168 per day in benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid, etc.) This works out to $21 per hour in an 8-hour workday. Based on a 40 hour workweek, this translates into 2,080 work hours and a government tab of $43,680 per person.

The Social Security Administration estimated that the average U.S. wage in 2011 was $42,980 per year. If one is not ashamed of being on the dole, why would anyone bother to look for a job, especially a minimum wage job? I heard, however, that New York state pays $50 per our for unskilled jobs. This might sound good, but it distorts the state labor market, contributes to the unemployment of those lacking access to these jobs and increases New Yorkers’ tax burden.

A visit to the Tax Foundation website shows that New York state is number one in individual tax burden. New Yorkers pay nearly 13 percent of their income to the state, compared to a national average of 9.9 percent. New York state and federal pensions, however, are exempt from state income tax. New York state also has a worse business climate than California that ranks 48. New York state ranks dead last, thanks in part to a high unemployment insurance tax.

A state with a business climate ranking of 50 and a distorted labor market is definitely not open for business.

Jane Bardon

Sackets Harbor

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