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Old 05-23-2011, 04:48 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,428 times
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I'm taking a new job and have a week to decide if I want to work in either Saratoga County, NY (where I have family) or the West Palm Beach area in FL.

I've spent time in both areas, and equally like the climates, even though they're very different. However, what is with all the taxes in NY?

My income will be the same ($92,000) in either location that I choose.

NY has an income tax rate of 6.85% for my bracket. FL has no income tax. This means I would make -$6,302 less in NY.

I plan of purchasing a condo, and have saved and invested so this would be a cash purchase of about $250,000. Ironically in the areas I'm looking, properties are selling for almost exactly the same psf price. However, in NY the property taxes seem to average about $8,000, while just $3,000 in FL. Insurance is more than double in FL ($2,000 vs $800 in NY). All in all, it will still cost me $3,800 more to own a similar home in NY. I feel that spending more on school taxes is a waste, since all that really matters is the parenting. For example the wealthiest areas can spend a fraction (i.e. Beverly Hills, Scottsdale, Palm Beach, etc) of a poor area (Detroit, Albany, etc) and get unreal test score and educational experience differences.

NY charges the second highest gas tax (just a small % less than CA), so it costs so much more to fill the tank in NY than in FL. With that said, why are the roads so bad in NY? Potholes everywhere, the paint is faded, sidewalks look like hell, etc. With all the extra gas tax revenue you would think the streets would be made of gold. lol

The one thing I could find that costs more in FL is car registration, but depending on the value of the car, not much more.

It looks like it would cost me about $10,000 more per year to live in NY than FL. In the part of FL I'm considering there are some of the most incredible restaurants and shopping, where as someone in Upstate, NY has to travel all the way to Manhattan or Long Island to get their fix.

Last, I'm a little nervous that once I marry and have kids, their peers in NY are coming from blue collar less educated families. I don't know how I would feel about my kids being one of the few that get to go on great vacations and be provided with better attire and experiences when their classmates don't have the same. Just comparing photos of the local proms found on Times Union's website vs. kids in the Palm Beach area is amazingly different (think K-Mart vs Prada)

Wow, after writing this I think I just made my decision, but maybe someone can chime in and tell me why Saratoga would be a better choice.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:32 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,420 times
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You made your choice and stick with it. I have one more year and I and my family are out of this cesspool of a state. Saratoga county has some of the cheapest taxes versus surrounding counties. I can't honestly give you a reason to choose NY. I really don't know why anyone would.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Albany, NY
334 posts, read 777,807 times
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Part of NY's high taxes is its byzantine form of government. There are many layers of government, sometimes duplicating services and at other times being just inefficient. It is a frustrating aspect of living in NYS. Almost any time government tries to consolidate services, lots of people speak up against it - and not just people who directly benefit from this dispersal of responsibility. I think people feel some of their local identity is in danger of disappearing if their local government disappears. It is a very difficult mindset to change, and unlikely to have a major overhaul soon.

New York State does provide more services in many other areas than lots of other states. I know someone who has a disabled child who was thinking about moving, but once she looked into it decided to stay here because only Wisconsin offered more supports for the disabled. We also have better consumer protection than most states. I'm not saying it's great, but still better rules to protect the consumer than other places.

Schools are a very touchy subject that I am reluctant to address, especially since I do not have experience with Florida schools. However, I know several people who have sent children to public school in both states and two people who have recently taught in both states. Every one of them has said that the New York's public schools are significantly better - and one of these parents sends her kids to Albany City Schools, not exactly a District that people hold up as the best around here. Class sizes are smaller, there is more professional development for teachers, better special education and enrichment. (Again, this is from hearsay, not personal experience.) You cannot judge by test scores because each state creates its own tests. Supposedly Florida's standardized tests are easier. I have also heard from educators that Florida's teachers are much, much more highly micromanaged - to the level of being told what assignments are to be done on which day of the week. Some might see this as a good thing, and it may lead to more consistency across the state. However, it also seems to be causing the most creative, innovative and dynamic teachers to leave for other states.

Saratoga is one of our wealthier communties, so if you see that as "K-Mart" then you will likely not be happy here. Personally, I would rather have my children mingle with a mix of people from various socio-economic groups than just those who are entitled. It leads to a more realistic view of life and makes them a little easier to live with :-) Another thing to keep in mind is that, at a salary of $92,000, your kids will barely make it into the "Prada" crowd. When kids are at the lowest end of the socioeconomic scale in their community, they can end up thinking they are poor, no matter how wrong that is in an absolute scale.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:53 PM
 
Location: New York
4 posts, read 5,604 times
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I actually totally agree with having kids to mingle with different socio-economic groups so that at least they would understand and somehow their minds can be open to how people are really living and they would be able to appreciate much better the things they do have in life. I do still love New York.

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Old 05-24-2011, 12:15 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarchivist98 View Post
Part of NY's high taxes is its byzantine form of government. There are many layers of government, sometimes duplicating services and at other times being just inefficient. It is a frustrating aspect of living in NYS. Almost any time government tries to consolidate services, lots of people speak up against it - and not just people who directly benefit from this dispersal of responsibility. I think people feel some of their local identity is in danger of disappearing if their local government disappears. It is a very difficult mindset to change, and unlikely to have a major overhaul soon.

New York State does provide more services in many other areas than lots of other states. I know someone who has a disabled child who was thinking about moving, but once she looked into it decided to stay here because only Wisconsin offered more supports for the disabled. We also have better consumer protection than most states. I'm not saying it's great, but still better rules to protect the consumer than other places.

Schools are a very touchy subject that I am reluctant to address, especially since I do not have experience with Florida schools. However, I know several people who have sent children to public school in both states and two people who have recently taught in both states. Every one of them has said that the New York's public schools are significantly better - and one of these parents sends her kids to Albany City Schools, not exactly a District that people hold up as the best around here. Class sizes are smaller, there is more professional development for teachers, better special education and enrichment. (Again, this is from hearsay, not personal experience.) You cannot judge by test scores because each state creates its own tests. Supposedly Florida's standardized tests are easier. I have also heard from educators that Florida's teachers are much, much more highly micromanaged - to the level of being told what assignments are to be done on which day of the week. Some might see this as a good thing, and it may lead to more consistency across the state. However, it also seems to be causing the most creative, innovative and dynamic teachers to leave for other states.

Saratoga is one of our wealthier communties, so if you see that as "K-Mart" then you will likely not be happy here. Personally, I would rather have my children mingle with a mix of people from various socio-economic groups than just those who are entitled. It leads to a more realistic view of life and makes them a little easier to live with :-) Another thing to keep in mind is that, at a salary of $92,000, your kids will barely make it into the "Prada" crowd. When kids are at the lowest end of the socioeconomic scale in their community, they can end up thinking they are poor, no matter how wrong that is in an absolute scale.
I wanted to respond point by point:

- I could care less about "additional services" (entitlements) that are only serving the loser members of the community (those that don't contribute anything) at the expense of those creating jobs, innovators, high income earners, etc. Those "services" are too expensive and ultimately making states like NY unable to compete and driving business away. Besides, I make it a priority to purchase adequate healthcare and would never want to burden anyone else with my problems. I see so many uninsured people that could easily pickup coverage if they simply cut their large cable package, went out to eat just a couple times less a month, etc.

- In regards to school spending, don't you find it ironic that districts with involved parents provide students with an incredibly better education and learning experience vs districts without involved parents. For example, Detroit spends more than any other area on school budgets, yet results some of the worst uneducated losers anywhere. Just 20 miles North of Detroit you have Gross Point, Rochester Hills, etc where less money is spent per student, but you have some of the best schools. The same with South Central LA and Beverly Hills, Arbor Hill and Loudonville, and countless other close proximity areas that can be used to compare. More spending just equals higher union wages and property tax bills.

- Absolutely my $92,000 of ordinary income is by no means going to provide any type of lifestyle. However, I make a point to religiously contribute to retirement, live well within my means, never carried debt, and was taught to invest at a very young age. I suppose that one could say my age of coming into the workplace just eight years ago helped with the timing, but just 2.5 years ago I had barely $50,000 in my retirement and brokerage accounts when the stock market was at its low. I had two stocks (DTG and AIG) that earned me 100x and 25x growth on $10,000 investments in each. Those funds have since been reinvested into more secure positions that are presently earning me about $60,000 just in dividends. I also have to believe that my future spouse will earn at least what I do, giving the opportunity to have an incredible family life - later in life.

- Last, why would you want your kids growing up with those in a socio-economic circle not equal to or better than theirs? Wealth typically breeds wealth, poverty typically breeds poverty. Using just the Capital Region as an example, I would bet that almost every kid that went to an IVY league school and succeeded to become an innovator or CEO - probably came from one of the better areas like Clifton Park, Saratoga, Slingrlands, etc.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:56 AM
 
69,483 posts, read 96,333,382 times
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What about the crime aspect, considering that FL's crime rate is one of the highest in the country?

In terms of education, FL's graduation rate is about 10-15% lower than NY's, even with the less stringent standards. Let alone the higher education institutions here in NY.

Saratoga is actually high end for the Capital Region. So, you don't have to go far for high quality amenities. I don't think Palm Beach is necessarily on Manhattan's level anyway(very few might be anyway).

Florida has actually had a net loss in population in recent years too. Taxes have gone up there and the
foreclosure crisis has hit the state hard. Unemployment is higher there as well.

People also underestimate the aspect of sprawl, which in turn means you are in the car more and eventhough gas taxes are higher here, you use more gas because of the set up in terms of community planning in FL.



Also, entitlements can go to the wealthy and middle class too. Think about Corporate Welfare
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:07 AM
 
69,483 posts, read 96,333,382 times
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(cont'd) What is considered too much or too little for funding towards education? While I agree that parental involvement is key, resources and the cost for them have to come into play as well. You have to pay for things somway, somehow. Saratoga is a very good school district and I don't see where there should be a concern for learning in that SD.

Also, you can get a good home for a lower cost in Upstate NY versus many other states, even with taxes factored in. People have to realize that there is more to costs than taxes. That's not to say that they shouldn't be lowered in NY, but it's not the only state that has had tax increases lately. A lot of the same issues are occurring in many other states to some degree.

Have you checked a COL calculator or two, by the way?

Lastlu, there have been great people that have come out of urban public schools and some of NY's best schools are urban schools. Schools like City Honors, Stuyvesant, Brooklyn Tech, Hutchinson Tech, DiVinci, Bronx Science and School of the Arts(Roc.) come to mind. Last year, the valedictorian at Syracuse's Nottingham High went to Brown. A star Lacrosse player from Corcoran High in Syracuse is going to West Point. I saw that schools like Colgate and Tufts are where current Nottingham High students are going next year. So, even in lower performing schools, you can get great students and a good education in NY.

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 05-24-2011 at 01:28 AM..
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:40 PM
 
7,244 posts, read 14,678,326 times
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There are other considerations besides focus on $$ : family, friends, hobbies, outdoor activities, cultural and arts, entertainment. FL may not have a income tax but it has a high sales tax an quite a few types of purchases, hurricane and flood insurance, insect control and mold can be a problem.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Albany, NY
334 posts, read 777,807 times
Reputation: 686
Quote:
Originally Posted by BackToCapitalRegion? View Post
- I could care less about "additional services" (entitlements) that are only serving the loser members of the community (those that don't contribute anything) at the expense of those creating jobs, innovators, high income earners, etc. Those "services" are too expensive and ultimately making states like NY unable to compete and driving business away. Besides, I make it a priority to purchase adequate healthcare and would never want to burden anyone else with my problems. I see so many uninsured people that could easily pickup coverage if they simply cut their large cable package, went out to eat just a couple times less a month, etc..
I wasn't trying to make a value judgement on this spending with my initial comment. The OP asked why taxes are high, and services are part of the reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BackToCapitalRegion? View Post
- In regards to school spending, don't you find it ironic that districts with involved parents provide students with an incredibly better education and learning experience vs districts without involved parents.
I don't find it ironic. I find it logical. In rich districts children are having lots of money spent on them at home. In poor districts, the schools have to make up some of the difference. (There's no way schools can make up all of the difference.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BackToCapitalRegion? View Post
Last, why would you want your kids growing up with those in a socio-economic circle not equal to or better than theirs? Wealth typically breeds wealth, poverty typically breeds poverty. Using just the Capital Region as an example, I would bet that almost every kid that went to an IVY league school and succeeded to become an innovator or CEO - probably came from one of the better areas like Clifton Park, Saratoga, Slingrlands, etc.
You are correct that more Ivy League student come from wealthy districts or private schools, but don't put a lot of money on that bet. In the few years I have lived in Albany students graduating from Albany High have gone to Yale, Brown, Harvard, Wellesley, MIT, Cornell, and lots of other excellent schools that may not be as highly ranked by US News and World Report.

And, actually, I would like my kids to grow up with a mix of people - not all rich or all poor. I think that makes for a more well-rounded person and someone with a lot of the soft skills that are needed in many industries and that employers complain they can't get enough of.

In this I probably differ from you. I would like my kids to be financially self-sufficient, but prefer that they not be wealthy. When you are wealthy and are surrounded by wealthy people, it can be more difficult to keep your values in check. (Well, unless your ultimate value is money, that is.) Also, many studies show that once a certain level of financial security is reached, one where you don't have to worry about money on a daily basis, additional money doesn't add to people's sense of happiness or well-being. - There's a fun interactive exhibit at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry that illustrates this. If you happen to be in Chicago soon, check it out!
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:20 PM
 
28 posts, read 64,802 times
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NY is the 2nd or 3rd most highest taxed state in the nation. Ultimately, your decision is personal. Someone already wrote an explanation: a byzantine government. But there's a good SUNY system that benefited me, and the Thruway isn't half bad compared to what I deal with where I'm at now. More taxes pay for better services...but you only get them if you live in a populated area.
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