May 22, 2012 10:50 AM GMT
Given that no one would accuse New York's governments of being libertarian or even fiscally conservative, it's also an example to remember the next time a liberal claims that tax policy can or should be used to moderate income inequality.
The wealthiest 1 percent of New York City residents took in nearly one-third of the personal income in the city in 2009 — almost double the comparable proportion nationwide, a new study shows.
In a report scheduled to be released Monday, the city comptroller’s office found that large percentages of New Yorkers earned high incomes and low incomes, leaving a smaller middle class than in the nation as a whole.
“There is some evidence of the kind of common worry that New York has a weak middle,” said Frank Braconi, chief economist in the comptroller’s office.
The report analyzed tax filings by city residents for income earned from 2000 through 2009, the most recent data available, and compared them with the national numbers. All of the numbers were adjusted for inflation.
The most striking difference between New York and the rest of the United States, the report showed, was the concentration of earning power at the high end. In 2009, nearly 15,000 filers reported adjusted gross income of $1 million or more. They accounted for less than half of 1 percent of the total number of filers, but they took in 26.7 percent of the income in the city. Nationally, people who earned at least $1 million in 2009 collected less than 10 percent of all the income.