New York Continues to Be the Largest Donor State in the Nation

New York State residents contribute $22 billion more to the federal government than they get back in federal spending — and more than $116 billion over the past four years — worst among all 50 states

New York gives more to the federal government than the next two largest donor states combined

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Albany, NY —  The Rockefeller Institute of Government has released its third annual report analyzing the distribution of federal budget receipts and expenditures across the United States, providing policymakers and the public with vital information about the redistribution of federal funding and its impact in each state.

With a negative balance of $22 billion, New York State residents continue to contribute more and receive less in federal spending than any other state. It is the third straight year that New York has had the greatest negative balance of payments in the nation. Over the past four years, New York taxpayers have given $116 billion more to the federal government than they received back in federal spending for an average annual negative balance of $29 billion — far exceeding every other state. To put that in context, New Jersey is the second worst state with a four-year balance of payment of $72 billion or nearly $18 billion a year.

The report is accompanied by an interactive dashboard that allows users to explore the distribution of funds across all 50 states and view state-by-state breakdowns of how funds are spent.

“The residents of New York give more to the federal government than the residents of the next two largest donor states combined,” said Patricia Strach, interim executive director at the Rockefeller Institute. “This report is essential reading for policymakers and advisors in Congress and the executive when determining ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in upcoming federal policy debates.”

The Institute’s analysis examines where federal funds were generated and spent in 2018, the balance of payments differential that exists between states, the primary explanations for those differences, and how these gaps may change over time.

Using the latest spending data available from 2018, its findings include:

  • New York’s negative balance of $22 billion is larger than that of second-ranked New Jersey (-$11.5 billion) and third-ranked Massachusetts (-$9.1 billion) combined. Connecticut and Colorado round out the list of the states with the least favorable balances.
  • The federal per capita balance of payments in 2018 is $2,063. The New York State per capita balance of payments is -$1,125, or $3,188 more than the federal average.
  • Over four years, New York taxpayers have given $116.2 billion more to the federal government than they received back in federal spending — the widest gap in the nation. The next closest state is New Jersey with a negative balance of $71.8 billion.
  • Kentucky gets more than $2.42 in federal spending for every state tax dollar while New York gets only $0.91 in federal spending for every state tax dollar.

The report was authored by Rockefeller Institute Director of Fiscal Analysis and Senior Economist Laura Schultz and Fiscal Policy Analyst Michelle Cummings with technical assistance and consultation from the New York State Division of the Budget, and input from experts in federal agencies and think tanks.

Read the full report.

Explore the interactive dashboard.

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