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In formulating its program the Committee has attempted to keep in mind the remote as well as the immediate interests of the State. The definite program submitted* should be adopted not merely because of the value of the results which will at once be achieved through its establishment but also because of what it makes possible in years to come. Many changes which the Committee considers eminently sound and desirable are definitely blocked so far as immediate action is concerned by insuperable legal and financial obstacles. It has been our aim to recommend only such changes as promise substantial improvement from both the long-time and the short-time points of view. The adoption of the program will, we believe, both provide a measure of immediate relief and prepare the ground for further reform in the direction of further simplification and equalization.

* Cf. supra, f. 15.

The Cost of Government

The ten-year increase. The total per-capita cost of federal, state and local government for a resident of the State of New York increased 170 per cent from 1910 to 1920. In 1910 the percapita cost of all government for a New York resident was $35.19; in 1920 it was $94.89, an increase of $59.70. By far the largest factor in this increase is the tremendous growth of federal expenditures for the army, the navy, the public debt and for other activities assumed at the time of the war and continued through 1920. As a result of these war expenditures, the cost per capita of the federal government in 1920 shows an increase of 527 per cent over 1910, while the per-capita cost of the state government increased 115 per cent and the increase in the per-capita cost of city, county, town and village government, including schools, increased 76 per cent.

The basis of these computations is indicated in Table 1.

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Due to the presence of deficits and surpluses, the per-capita figures for taxes and other revenues differ somewhat from the expense figures shown in Table 2.

*The figures used in tables 1 and 2 are based upon the following chief sources: The United States Treasury Department's annual Combined Statement of Receipts, Disbursements, Balances, etc., forms the basis of the figures for the federal government, except for the population figures which are taken from the census. The figures for the New York State government are from the Report of the Comptroller. The figures for local government are partially estimated as complete data were not collected for 1910 and are not yet available for 1920. The estimates are based upon the Report of the State Tax Commission, the Financial Statistics of Cities, published by the United States Bureau of the Census, and the State Comptroller's Special Report on Municipal Accounts. No attempt has been made in these computations to reconcile the differing fiscal years or to adjust population figures to the middle of the fiscal periods, as it was felt that such refinements of method would serve to complicate the computation without materially changing the result.

New York's share of the federal burden is computed on the simple per-capita basis, which is admittedly only a rough approximation. If it were possible to calculate exactly New York's contribution to the federal treasury, the figures would probably be perceptibly larger.

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The total tax burden and the State's share. The great confusion in the public mind regarding cost of government and the relation of federal, state and local finances necessitates the presentation of certain general facts.

Tables 1 and 2 show that the per-capita burden of government for residents of the State of New York in 1920 was about $100.* This means that the average family is paying, directly or indirectly, to the federal, state and local governments in the neighborhood of $500 a year, in return for the services of government.

A second fact brought out clearly in the above figures is that about one-half of the present burden cf government for residents of the State of New York consists of payments to the federal government. The cost of all the functions of the state government, of the city governments, town governments, county governments, village governments, and public-school systems in the State of New York altogether amounted in 1920 to a sum roughly equivalent to New York's share of the federal budget.

The division as between state and local government is also significant. The total receipts (cf. Table 2) for purposes of state government in 1920 represent but slightly more than 11 per cent of the entire tax burden, leaving about 42 per cent as the share of the local governments. It is clear, therefore, that the greatest opportunities for reduction in the costs of government in

⚫Per-capita governmental expenses, $94.89; per-capita governmental revenues, $106.97.

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Data are taken from the annual reports of the Tax Commission.

7,049,989 80 13,506,976 07

8,291,201 07 21,513,384 29

During the ten years covered by this chart, a number of cities have been incorporated so that a part of the increase of taxes levied for cities is due to these new cities. The cities created, together with the amount of the first tax levied for city purposes included in the curve of city taxes and the year of this first independent tax levy, are as follows: † Partially estimated. The true levy became available while the report was in press and proved to be somewhat smaller than the estimate. The true levy for schools in 1920 was $90,030,998.68. CITIES CREATED SINCE 1910

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