The Public Policy Institute of New York State has rightfully been critical of our state elected officials for their misguided attacks on the industry that is the largest contributor to New York’s gross state product. They penned a scathing report titled “Derailing New York’s Economic Engine: How Albany Punishes New York’s Largest Industry.” In this report they make many great points that may seem like common sense, yet somehow its logic eludes legislators.
In 2008, the year we hit our low mark in the financial meltdown, the financial sector contributed $187.2 billion or 14 percent toward New York’s $1.145 trillion economic output, making it the largest single driver of New York’s GSP.
Twenty percent of New York State’s and fifteen percent of New York City’s tax revenues come from the sector. One would think that New York’s elected officials would vehemently protect this industry and the jobs and tax revenue it creates. Yet as this report states – Surprisingly, many legislators seem intent on “punishing” the financial services sector – the industry that is the economic engine of the state and the source of so much of the tax revenue that funds the very government programs and services these elected officials seek to preserve. The financial services sector is New York’s “golden goose” paying nearly $13 billion annually in New York State taxes and at least $6.3 billion in New York City levies. Now would hardly seem to be an appropriate time to be discouraging the industry’s continued presence in New York State.