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Old 06-22-2013, 08:36 PM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
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Okay. My wife and I are considering moving back to the Northeast. We don't know where we'll go or what we'll do, but recently we've been performing music around the northern tier of PA and the southern tier of NY. Given that we're inspecting the areas we visit, as potential places where we might live, we're also considering different aspects of the region / state when we think about the towns.

New York is notorious for its taxes. This is not news to anyone. NY has the nation's highest gas tax rate, the nation's highest income tax collection rate per capita (though this figure might be skewed by the NYC uber-rich), and NY state is constantly #1 or #2 for total taxes collected per capita. (I know that NY has very high property taxes, a very high sales tax when you combine state and local, a very high cigarette tax, etc.)

And I know that NY is a VERY "blue" state... and since Democratic politicians seem more inclined toward the "tax and spend" method of operation than Republican politicians, it doesn't shock me that New York is a high-tax state. Most far-northeastern states, save for (perhaps) New Hampshire, are like that.

The question I have for all New Yorkers of all political leanings is - WHY?!?!?

WHY do you accept these high taxes? What about the highest tax rates in the country makes New York a great place to be, compared to other states?

Put another way - what would you tell people such as my wife and myself, about why we should move to New York despite the high taxes? What would we get for our money?

(I didn't see better roads in NY compared to PA. When going back and forth between NY's southern tier and PA's northern tier, it actually seemed that NY's roads were worse! I'd have expected the opposite, given that NY's gas taxes are so high. Property taxes in that area at least seem to be double in NY what they are in PA. Are the schools, police forces, libraries, etc. twice as good in NY as they are in PA?)

So, really - WHY the taxes? What's the point? And if you don't think there's anything you can do about the taxes, why not re-elect nobody and see if you can replace the current state lawmakers with a bunch of new ones who might just allow you to keep more of the money you earn? I really don't get it.
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Old 06-22-2013, 09:10 PM
 
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Layers of government play a big role in this. Teachers unions/educational attainment requirements and a bigger safety net also play a role. Services for snow removal are also somthing to consider. If you enter information in the search area or look under at similar threads, it should offer more information. I will say that roads on Reservation land is within their jurisdiction, if I'm not mistaken. So, that may explain the roads a little bit and it has been discussed before on here.

What areas are you considering? Overall cost of living is roughly on par with Southern areas in terms of much of Upstate NY. I know people don't want to hear that, but it is true. Much of that is due to housing costs. Upstate NY is also more moderate. So, both parties play a role in this to some degree.

Also, while the taxes are a issue, in many cases, the average annual pay can be higher than most places even for Upstate NY areas. Here's an interesting list: Northern California enjoys nation's highest salaries - The Business Journals

As for changes, I don't know if it is as easy as electing different politicians, as there needs to be structural changes made. So, until that aspect is dealt with, at least to some degree, not too much will change. I will also say that the people play a part in this in terms of accepting consolidation efforts and seeing it as being for the greater good of the people. There has been some resistance due to feelings towards identity and relationships with those performing services, for a couple of examples.

One last thing, there are exemptions for property taxes in NY. Property tax exemptions. So, that also may be something to consider as well.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 06-22-2013 at 09:22 PM..
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Old 06-23-2013, 03:42 AM
 
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I would no doubt live in PA given I could match the features of my current home. Despite the taxes, I love too much the natural features and climate of NY (especially SW) as well as PA, have family in NY too, find the schools to be generally good, and despite the taxes, real estate on the contrary is very affordable. And weird as it sounds, it's important to me to be near a Wegman's.

I agree with your point about roads and the comparison to PA. I'm just a couple miles from the PA border and it's very interesting the differences between the same road in both states. NY's is wider, in very poor shape (sections have separated) and full of potholes in early spring, made of a different material than PA's, and seems to require and receive much more maintenance work. In the winter, the salt the living heck out of the road in NY (which I hate) and attempt to clear the road to pavement more so than in PA... despite this, even in the winter, I prefer PA's road. To me, it's a case of efficiency and poor policy and decision making. NY's additional efforts and spending actually makes their road worse than PA's.
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Old 06-23-2013, 07:35 AM
 
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They are just a fact of life. I enjoy other things about living here (my area, not necessarily NY State itself) that make it so I don't obsess over taxes. Family is here, I enjoy my community, neighbors, the scenery and again, despite the high taxes; the COL around here really is pretty affordable. On par with the COL in supposedly "affordable low-tax haven of North Carolina"...where I lived for a while.

There is definitely validity in the argument that the tax burden in NY is far too high and that it drives a lot of people, especially retirees, out of the state. Every place has annoying things about living there. High taxes in NY state are annoying for sure; but they aren't the "end all" for everyone as many NY ex-pat posters on C-D would have you believe
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:43 AM
 
50,714 posts, read 72,809,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_sayin' View Post
They are just a fact of life. I enjoy other things about living here (my area, not necessarily NY State itself) that make it so I don't obsess over taxes. Family is here, I enjoy my community, neighbors, the scenery and again, despite the high taxes; the COL around here really is pretty affordable. On par with the COL in supposedly "affordable low-tax haven of North Carolina"...where I lived for a while.

There is definitely validity in the argument that the tax burden in NY is far too high and that it drives a lot of people, especially retirees, out of the state. Every place has annoying things about living there. High taxes in NY state are annoying for sure; but they aren't the "end all" for everyone as many NY ex-pat posters on C-D would have you believe
^This and I want to add that taxes can decrease as you get older in terms of exemptions for those 65 and older and this can be on top of other exemptions. For an example, my father is a Vietnam Vet and he is over 65. So, he gets exemptions for being a veteran and for being over 65. I believe that he gets Enhanced STAR as well. So, the burden can vary based on requirements.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:18 AM
 
639 posts, read 883,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_sayin' View Post
There is definitely validity in the argument that the tax burden in NY is far too high and that it drives a lot of people, especially retirees, out of the state. Every place has annoying things about living there. High taxes in NY state are annoying for sure; but they aren't the "end all" for everyone as many NY ex-pat posters on C-D would have you believe
You hit the spot with that statement.

Taxes in NY are annoying, but it wasn't the primary reason why my friends, family, and I left or will be leaving soon. What drives us out of here is..

Downstate: Overcrowded, too congested, inadequate land, extremely high housing prices for what you get

Upstate: Too gray and overcast during the colder months, many cities are run-down, weak economy (I know people argue this but from my experience the job market is terrible unless you have a connection or work in a certain field)

In the end every place has it's pros and cons, NY doesn't work out for me but it could be someone else's paradise
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:30 AM
 
15 posts, read 23,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkingElsewhere View Post
You hit the spot with that statement.

Taxes in NY are annoying, but it wasn't the primary reason why my friends, family, and I left or will be leaving soon. What drives us out of here is..

Downstate: Overcrowded, too congested, inadequate land, extremely high housing prices for what you get

Upstate: Too gray and overcast during the colder months, many cities are run-down, weak economy (I know people argue this but from my experience the job market is terrible unless you have a connection or work in a certain field)

In the end every place has it's pros and cons, NY doesn't work out for me but it could be someone else's paradise
Great post especially the part about the Upstate NY!
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
273 posts, read 624,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
Okay. My wife and I are considering moving back to the Northeast. We don't know where we'll go or what we'll do, but recently we've been performing music around the northern tier of PA and the southern tier of NY. Given that we're inspecting the areas we visit, as potential places where we might live, we're also considering different aspects of the region / state when we think about the towns.

New York is notorious for its taxes. This is not news to anyone. NY has the nation's highest gas tax rate, the nation's highest income tax collection rate per capita (though this figure might be skewed by the NYC uber-rich), and NY state is constantly #1 or #2 for total taxes collected per capita. (I know that NY has very high property taxes, a very high sales tax when you combine state and local, a very high cigarette tax, etc.)

And I know that NY is a VERY "blue" state... and since Democratic politicians seem more inclined toward the "tax and spend" method of operation than Republican politicians, it doesn't shock me that New York is a high-tax state. Most far-northeastern states, save for (perhaps) New Hampshire, are like that.

The question I have for all New Yorkers of all political leanings is - WHY?!?!?

WHY do you accept these high taxes? What about the highest tax rates in the country makes New York a great place to be, compared to other states?

Put another way - what would you tell people such as my wife and myself, about why we should move to New York despite the high taxes? What would we get for our money?

(I didn't see better roads in NY compared to PA. When going back and forth between NY's southern tier and PA's northern tier, it actually seemed that NY's roads were worse! I'd have expected the opposite, given that NY's gas taxes are so high. Property taxes in that area at least seem to be double in NY what they are in PA. Are the schools, police forces, libraries, etc. twice as good in NY as they are in PA?)

So, really - WHY the taxes? What's the point? And if you don't think there's anything you can do about the taxes, why not re-elect nobody and see if you can replace the current state lawmakers with a bunch of new ones who might just allow you to keep more of the money you earn? I really don't get it.
As many have said in the past, you get what you pay for. Sure, the roads in NYS do need repair, especially after a long winter. But, I can't begin to name an area east of the Mississippi that has all that NY has to offer. I was going to retire a year ago and I was strongly considering the Saratoga Springs/Glens Falls area. Draw a circle with a 150 mile radius around that area and that gives you a multitude of places to visit/things to do. Big city visits can include NYC (by Amtrak if I don't want to drive), Boston and Montreal. So many outdoor resources in the Adirondacks and even Catskills. From the public areas (parks) I have seen, a lot of money goes into those as well. My personal situation has changed favorably to such a degree that I can and will retire next year. Saratoga is still one of the finalists on my list. And my wife, who is a life-long Floridian is in total agreement. There's a lot to consider besides the taxes. In my case, as a retiree, my SS won't be taxed as well as the first $20K of my pension. And since NYS still allows deductions on its income tax forms, I can probably whittle down the total income tax bill to a very manageable amount even for a NE state. Add to that the STAR exemption for property tax. The one thing that bothers me is the insane gun laws they recently passed in NYS. That alone makes me think of my other finalist, Lancaster area of PA. But, all other things considered, I think I would feel very comfortable with upstate NY. Your results may vary.

To those who may wonder why a Floridian would ever think of retiring to NYS, I was born and raised in NY. I left 32 years ago for employment, not weather. The weather upstate never bothered me one bit. The weather down here sucks big time!! I stayed here for my wife's family and for my own as I had 2 kids down here. Kids are now almost middle aged adults. After I retire next year, there is absolutely nothing holding me any longer. Life is getting too short to be miserable.
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:06 AM
 
50,714 posts, read 72,809,108 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThinkingElsewhere View Post
You hit the spot with that statement.

Taxes in NY are annoying, but it wasn't the primary reason why my friends, family, and I left or will be leaving soon. What drives us out of here is..

Downstate: Overcrowded, too congested, inadequate land, extremely high housing prices for what you get

Upstate: Too gray and overcast during the colder months, many cities are run-down, weak economy (I know people argue this but from my experience the job market is terrible unless you have a connection or work in a certain field)

In the end every place has it's pros and cons, NY doesn't work out for me but it could be someone else's paradise
This is fair. I think with the cities in comparison to cities in other states outside of the Northeast, they are less dense, can annex land/unincorporated areas and developed later. So, there are different dynamics. There are nice areas within city limits in Upstate cities and some not so nice areas in cities throughout the country.

I agree that the economy here could be better up here, but I think that we are in a time in general where one's skills, education, experience, etc will have to coincide with opportunities in the area you live in.
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Old 06-23-2013, 01:13 PM
 
639 posts, read 883,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
This is fair. I think with the cities in comparison to cities in other states outside of the Northeast, they are less dense, can annex land/unincorporated areas and developed later. So, there are different dynamics. There are nice areas within city limits in Upstate cities and some not so nice areas in cities throughout the country.
From my experience living in Upstate NY, it appears that many of the residents prefer suburban or rural lifestyles, not really urban. In other states, I noticed that there is a good number middle class/upper class people who prefer living in cities. You don't really see that in Upstate NY, which I think has contributed to the lack of adequate revitalization in upstate cities. But that is another thread topic.
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