Spitzer’s Upstate Follies, Part II – By George J. Marlin

Governor Spitzer continues his upstate public relations campaign, “Operation Strategic Investment.”

Frankly, Spitzer’s plans are not very strategic nor much of an investment. Over ninety percent of the $850 million in disbursements are redecorated bribes allocated during Pataki’s last term of office.

Payoffs to existing employers and contractors, in the form of state grants, will not revitalize upstate New York’s ailing economy. People have been fleeing the area because they can’t afford the annual property tax bill – 80% of which is dedicated to financing unfunded state mandates. Before entrepreneurs relocate to the area and invest capital, the local tax systems must be fixed.

Here’s a breakdown of the tax burden of upstate townships and cities versus New York’s most affluent and populated municipal sub-division, the town of North Hempstead.

Amherst  (Erie Cnty)

Cheektowaga(Erie  Cnty)

West Seneca (Erie Cnty)

Hamburg (Erie Cnty)

Average Household Income

 81,979

51,515

60,357

64,883

Median Household Income

63,518

42,883

53,621

55,408

Per Capita Income

32,619

22,453

24,750

26,037

Households w/Income Over $100M

26.7%

8.9%

14.0%

18.0%

Median Home Value

139,789

98,332

121,434

126,206

Total Local Taxes per Capita

573

476

499

423

Property Taxes per Capita

 520

445

466

377

Rochester (Monroe Cnty)

Greece (Monroe Cnty)

North Hempstead (NassauCnty)

Average Household Income

38,727

63,964

132,095

Median Household Income

28,483

53,315

92,336

Per Capita Income

16,105

25,659

45,582

Households w/Income Over $100M

5.4%

15.8%

46%

Median Home Value

75,210

129,739

661,001

Total Local Taxes per Capita

848

330

486

Property Taxes per Capita

763

284

397

People whose homes are worth less than 20 percent of the homes in North Hempstead are paying taxes that are equal to or higher than those levied on North Hempstead taxpayers.

With median household incomes at $50 thousand, upstate New Yorker’s can’t afford this tax burden.  That’s why one million of them have escaped to other parts of the nation where salaries are comparable but taxes are significantly lower.

Restraining state spending and abolishing unfunded state mandates will save upstate New York, not Spitzer’s promotion of failed Pataki programs.

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Explore posts in the same categories: NY State Finances-SCC

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