I got into a discussion on Scott's site a while back about the fairness of the commuter tax, given the resources used by commuters, and the fact that all of those suburban New Jersey houses would be basically worthless without NYC as a functioning city. A recent study reminds us of the economic fairness of taxing commuters versus funding all city services on the backs of the residents:
The statistics, analyzed by Andrew A. Beveridge, a sociologist at Queens College, show that people who commute from the New York suburbs to the city make far more money, are more educated and more likely to have jobs in fields like finance, management and the professions.
The average suburban commuter earned $75,439, according to the data from the 2000 census released last month. The average for city residents who work in the city was $41,889, and for suburbanites working in the suburbs, $41,031.
The census also shows that the commuters are more likely than others to be white, male and married. Nearly one in four had an advanced degree, and nearly 55 percent had completed college at a minimum.
Comparable 2000 figures for commuters from New Jersey and Connecticut are not yet available. But the 1990 census shows a similar pattern: people from New Jersey and Connecticut who commuted to New York City made much more than those who did not.