Monday, July 16, 2007

Voting With Their Feet

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle has a great article about why people are fleeing upstate in droves.

Garcia is among the 30 percent of residents between the ages of 25 and 34 who have departed upstate New York during the past decade, according to Gov. Eliot Spitzer's office. A survey of 1,000 graduates of State University of New York campuses during the spring found that two-thirds of students from upstate preferred to stay in the region, but less than 40 percent of them had been able to find jobs, and less than 30 percent expected to be living in upstate New York in 10 years.

I'm sure you'll be shocked to discover that high taxes are one of, if not the, primary motivator for people leaving the state.

Karen Joba, who moved from Hamlin to North Carolina with her husband, Bruce, in 2005, said New York would continue to lose residents until significant changes are made, "especially tax-wise." The Jobas pay about $1,400 in property taxes on their $200,000 home in Hendersonville, N.C., compared with $5,000 in property tax on a $147,000 home in Hilton.

When your property tax bill is in the same league as your mortgage payment there's a serious problem.

Once again, people aren't leaving the area because there aren't enough parks, or because the Stanley doesn't host enough Broadway shows, or because there aren't enough coffee shops, or because there aren't enough sidewalk art shows. They're leaving because the tax burden of living here far outweighs any possible benefit derived from the quality of life.