In FY 2017, according to data from the Census of Governments, U.S. states directly spent, on average, $85.41 per $1,000 of the personal income of all U.S. residents, or $87.76 if unemployment insurance and worker compensation payments are included. Spending by local governments equaled $110.85 per $1,000 of personal income. This spending was funded by state and local taxes, charges for services, aid from the federal government, as described in the prior two posts, and money borrowed. Taken together, state and local government spending equaled $198.71 per $1,000 of personal income, or 19.9% of the income (including fringe benefit income) of everyone living in the United States. That is about one dollar in five to/from the government, not including money the federal government directly spends rather than passes on to the states.
The State of New York directly spent $86.36 per $1,000 of the personal income of New York State residents’ personal income, or $89.28 including unemployment insurance and worker compensation payments. Local governments in New York City spent $181.24 per $1,000 of city residents’ personal income, and local governments in the rest of New York State spent $129.20 per $1,000 or the income of people living there. Assuming the burden of State of New York expenditures was distributed between the two areas in proportion to personal income, that is $270.52 per $1,000 of personal income spent for New York City, and $218.48 per $1,000 of personal income for the rest of the state. Or 27.1% and 21.8% of personal income, respectively.
The rest of this post will summarize the government functions this money was spent on. Posts on individual government functions, with comparisons over time and across the country, will follow.