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New Yorkers Say Transit, Sanitation & City Lifestyle Make High Tax Rates Worth It

Empire State Building (credit: CBS 2)

Empire State Building (credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — High taxes in the Tri-State Area have some New Yorkers wondering if it’s worth it to relocate.

“You get taxed by the city, you get taxed by the state, you get taxed by the feds, you get taxed on everything and now they talk about the estate tax changing so you even get taxed on the way out,” Harlem resident Robert Manni told CBS 2′s Cindy Hsu.

From the Statue of Liberty to a powerful lineup of star-studded sports teams, New Yorkers have it all. Now residents of the Empire State can also brag that they have the highest taxes.

New Yorkers spend roughly 12.8 percent of their income on state and local taxes, New Jersey came in second at 12.4 percent, and Connecticut was a close third at 12.4 percent, according to a study by the Tax Foundation.

Experts told CBS 2 that the high bill comes as a result of the available services that New Yorkers have access to.

“We spend much, much more on things like transit, transportation, education, and Medicaid,” explained Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute.

Tennessee, South Dakota, and Alaska pay the least in taxes with each state coming in at between seven and eight percent, but New Yorkers were split over whether moving away was worth the tax break.

“”It’s always exciting, there’s always something different to do everyday. I think New York is the place to be and it ends up being worth it,” said content Manhattan resident Desiree Miranda.

John Zhang of Queens agreed.

“Public transportation is much better than riding snow dogs and sleds in Alaska,” he said.

But Queens resident Daniel Levine told CBS 2 that he was ready to go.

“I don’t want to be [here], it’s my wife. That’s what I said before, it’s my wife,” he explained.

For some New Yorkers, leaving the Big Apple is easier said than done.

“My parents went to Arizona to escape the rat race and they missed the pace of the city and came back in 10 weeks, so it becomes, you either love it or you hate it and we love it,” said Susan Teltser-Schwarz.

Many residents said that the convenience of city life make the taxes more than worth it.

“We all take public transportation, that’s how everyone gets around, so when you have a city like that, we rely on that, we rely on garbage, we rely on everything that taxes pay for,” said Luren Johnson.

Is life in the city worth a few extra dollars? You may add your thoughts in our comments section below…