I understand now why you are concerned about a City or County Income Tax, the City of New York has one. The City of New York includes the Boroughs of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens. See attached rates:
I know for a fact that Syracuse and Onondaga County do NOT have a local income tax, so no worries.
To assit you with selecting a location in the Syracuse/CNY region, I have cut and paste the following links that I provided others considering relocating to Syracuse and CNY on this forum. I hope it helps.
To start, I thought you might like a summary of Syracuse from wikipedia.org. It provides pictures, history, economy, demographics, and other links, including a number of Syracuse suburbs and recent events. Good luck with your move from California, I live in Florida and I get nostalgic for (Syracuse) Central New York many times.
Syracuse, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
CNY is getting serious about enticing people to relocate or return to CNY. Local agencies have started a successful marketing campaign to back it up, its called "CreativeCoreNY that emphasizes the transition to a knowledge based economy (see attached).
New York's Creative Core
The other web-site is essentialnyjob.com that lists of over 12,000 unfilled positions (see attached)
Central New York Jobs
There is an effort to intergrate the SU campus with downtown through a connective corridor. I believe it is in the design stages of development. If you are interested in living downtown or adjacent to the SU campus, this might be of interst to you. Here is there web-site. As an urban planner, I find this to be very exciting.
To give you an idea of of the surrounding area, my family is from Clay, NY which is one of the northern suburbs of Syracuse and rapidly growing (see attached).
Clay, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There is also Cicero and Lysander to the immediate east and west Clay respectively, both rapidly growing.
Cicero, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Lysander, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Closer to the Syracuse University is the Towns of Dewitt and Manlius.
DeWitt, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Manlius (town), New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I also have relatives in Camillus which is west of the City of Syracuse. You may want to keep your eyes out for a brand new lifestyle center called Township 5 that will include, retail, office, residential, hotel, and theatres (see attached).
Camillus (town), New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cameron Group, LLC - Township 5
(http://www.cameronllc.com/PropertyDisplay.aspx?id=1018 - broken link)
You may also want to consider the Town of Onondaga, which is south/soutwest of the City and has a pop of approximately 20,000 people. There is a major community college called (appropriately) Onondaga Community College and it is growing. I understand that a major mixed use (residential/Office/retail) is about to break ground across the street from the college with approximately 250 new homes.
Onondaga, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There are a whole host of villages that surround the City that you may like as well, including Baldwinsville, Skaneatelas, Fayetteville, Liverpool, Cazenovia and North Syracuse that are worth looking into.
Baldwinsville, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Skaneateles (village), New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fayetteville, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Liverpool, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Liverpool is in the Town of Clay)
Cazenovia (village), New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
North Syracuse, New York - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Village is split between Town's of Cicero and Clay)
I live in Florida, but as a planner I am very excited about the transition in the Central New York economy from a rust belt community dependent on heavy manufacturing to a knowledge based economy focused on research, development, aerospace, academics, medical and most importantly environmental technology, i.e. the Center of Excellence (under construction) downtown near SU. You may also hear about destiny usa, a commercial mixed-use shopping/entertainment/research develoment that has been heavily debated over the years.
Syracuse Center of Excellence - Syracuse Center of Excellence
I thought you might be interested in checking out Armory Square, Hanover Square, Franklin Square, Marshall Square, Westcott, and Eastwood for urban living and entertainment...
Armory Square - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hanover Square, Syracuse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Franklin Square, Syracuse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Marshall Street - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Westcott, Syracuse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eastwood, Syracuse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
There is even a Little Italy and a Tipporary Hill ...
Little Italy, Syracuse - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tipperary Hill - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
You may want to check out the following cultural amenities...
Syracuse Symphony Orchestra
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
Syracuse Stage - The Premier Professional Theatre of Central New York www.SyracuseStage.org
Welcome to Syracuse Opera
Museum Information - Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology
Welcome to the Everson Museum of Art
Well, that should get you started. Good luck on your move and future plans.