On Tax Day, New Yorkers Bemoan Their Bills

10:50 PM, Apr 15, 2013   |    comments
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By Haley Viccaro
Albany Bureau

ALBANY, NY--  Monday is the deadline to file taxes in New York, and most residents aren't happy about the amount they are paying or what they are getting back.

About 46 percent of New York residents believe they paid too much in taxes this year, and a majority of individuals who received refunds said they would use it to pay their bills, according to a Siena College survey released Monday.

The Siena poll reported that 46 percent of individuals in the state believed they paid too much in taxes, which is 3 percent higher compared to last year. About 42 percent of New Yorkers said they paid the right amount in taxes.

More than 50 percent of state residents said New York should increase taxes on the wealthy and 43 percent preferred to decrease taxes across the board, the survey said.

More than half of the individuals surveyed said they have already or expect to receive a tax refund, and 62 percent of those plan to use their refund to pay bills. Less than 20 percent plan to save their refund for retirement, vacation or purchases.

"A majority of those that are not yet retired are at least somewhat confident that they can maintain their current standard of living and right now nearly two-thirds of retirees say they are doing just that," said Siena Research Director Don Levy in a statement.

Levy said 69 percent of people surveyed had at least $1,000 in savings and 43 percent said they had savings that would equal about six months of expenses. A third of individuals said they had a financial adviser and 57 percent had a 401K.

A majority of state residents, about 66 percent, said they were against increasing the retirement age for Social Security to age 70, the Siena poll said. More than half of the individuals surveyed believe Social Security will be bankrupt in about 20 years.

An average of 40 percent of people believed that neither the Democrats or the Republicans have a better plan for economic growth or protecting Social Security, the Siena poll said. Equal percentages of individuals said the country's economic problems are either temporary or at a lower standard of living.

"In so many ways, 2012 was another year of treading economic water," Levy said. "While for so many New Yorkers, little has changed in their financial lives, as we look forward more than a third, about the same as a year ago, believe they will be better off on Tax Day 2014 than today."

The poll was conducted April 2-4 to 813 New York residents and had a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

To view the full report, visit the Siena Research Institute's website: http://www.siena.edu/sri/research

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