High Taxes and High Poverty: A Match Made in Syracuse


Guest post by Bill Zwerger

The State Community Action Agency just released their latest numbers for Upstate New York.  The numbers don’t lie.  Yet they most certainly help to make the case for a strong correlation between exorbitantly high tax rates and unacceptably high rates of poverty.  Just a coincidence?  I think not.

From ynn.com

“State poverty numbers are out and it’s not looking good. Almost 14 percent of New Yorkers, including 20 percent of children, are living in poverty. That’s the 17th highest poverty rate in the nation and the highest in the Northeast.

When you look at the larger cities in our area, those numbers are even higher.

Nearly 30 percent of people in Syracuse live in poverty and for Utica , nearly 50 percent of children do. Watertown fares a bit better, with 23 percent of individuals and 28 percent of children.”

Now let’s take a look at New York State tax rates, specifically those for Upstate NY.

From the Governor himself:

The Preliminary Report highlights a number of key facts:

  • New York State ‘s local taxes are the highest in America – 79% above the national average.
  • In terms of tax rate, nine of the top ten highest taxed counties in the nation are in Upstate New York . They are Wayne , Niagara, Monroe , Erie , Chautauqua, Onondaga, Cayuga, Chemung and Schenectady Counties .

Now I’m no highfalutin statistician, but there seems to be a rather obvious correlation between the two, don’t you think?