What county officials tend not to emphasize is the major finding of our August report: that the Medicaid-related excess tax burden of $1 billion a year is dwarfed by the real Goliath in the Upstate tax burden, excess spending on local government payrolls. That factor accounts for about $4 billion in excess taxes paid by Upstaters. It sounds to us like Erie County residents have sniffed out the real story.Yes. Yes we have.
Scandalous & Appalling
In 2004, New York's job growth rate was 0.7%; the national average was 1.7%. Between 1990 and 2004, New York's job growth rate was 2.9%. The national average was 19.9%. Let Upstate be Upstate is right to call this appalling and scandalous. New Yorkers bear the heaviest burden of state and local taxes; both on a per-capita basis, and on a per-$1,000-of-personal-income basis. Our personal income taxes are the highest in the nation. You think people *heart* New York? Then why are we second-to-worst in population growth in the nation, behind only Massachusetts? As anyone in Buffalo who has family in Charlotte can tell you, people who migrate from one state to another generally leave high-tax states for lower-taxed ones. And (Balgar), if you tax the rich, they'll just leave. Finally, Upstate blog underscores the fact that blaming Medicaid as the root cause, or even the major cause, of Erie County's crisis is wrong. Our local officials (Giambra, et al) blame Medicaid because it lets them deflect the blame to Albany (which certainly deserves a lot of it) - how...convenient.