A new study is showing the depth of economic struggles Oneida and Herkimer County residents face, including how most families end up with almost nothing after taxes and expenses.

The study comes from Reclaim New York's Affordability Crisis Report and shows the challenges area residents face financially every year.

The report highlights how taxes in New York combined with basic, everyday expenses end up leaving families with barely enough to make ends meet, and even less to save.

The study uses 'Wake-Up Costs' - a combination of income, property, sales, excise taxes and basic living expenses(what it costs to simply wake up in the morning in CNY) to calculate the data in both Herkimer and Oneida Counties.

According to the report:

"New Yorkers pay nearly 200 different taxes, levied by more than 3,000 government entities. These factors drive some of the highest property taxes in the nation, the worst tax burden in the country, and second-highest cost of living."

In fact, recent studies have shown just how bad NY is being hurt by all these taxes. Residents are leaving the state at a record pace, making NY the third when it comes to its native residents leaving for better opportunities in other states.

Here are the most important facts the study revealed from ReclaimNewYork.org:

  • In Utica, a family of four, making the area’s median income of $37,436 is left with nothing, they’re breaking even after “Wake Up Costs”. They are going into the red and need to turn to debt, government assistance, and cutting back on basics to survive.
  • Even a family making twice the median income for Utica, $74,872, can’t save and build a future. Taxes consume a startling 32 percent of their income. After their expenses, they’re left with only 3 percent ($2,140) to handle other costs. They can’t reliably save for a college fund or retirement.
  • Recent graduates face a tough road. At the national average starting salary of $48,707 for grads working in their focus area, and with no dependents, they have lighter expenses. Still, they see taxes and basic expenses chew up 86 percent of their income.
  • A family in Yorkville, earning the local median income of $29,221 annually, is left in the red by 11 percent after taxes and expenses. They are in devastating circumstances, completely incapable of making it on their own.
  • For a family of four in Rome, the median income is $51,519 per year. After their “Wake Up Costs” – total tax burden and basic expenses – they have only $374 left. They are going to be forced into tough personal decisions, and may have to move out.
  • In Herkimer County, a middle-class family in Little Falls, making the median income of $43,600 per year is left with just $1,875 for the year, after paying for New York’s heavy tax burden.
  • Even at $87,200 per year, double the median income, a family of four in Little Falls struggles to save. They’re left with just 5 percent after taxes and basics. They struggle to save for retirement, or a college fund.
  • In the Village of Ilion, a family of four making the median household income of $44,061 will go into the red by $1,840. Taxes eat up 25 percent of their earnings, and drive up expenses that force them to take on cut basics, get help, or turn to credit cards.
  • At double the median income, a similar family in Ilion still struggles. They have just 3 percent of their $88,122 annual income left to face any emergency expenses, let alone trying to save, after taxes consume a staggering 34 percent of their earnings.
  • A family in the Town of Herkimer earning the local median income of $39,350 annually, gets hammered by “Wake Up Costs”, leaving them with only 3 percent of that left. They are financially unstable.
  • If that family earns double the median, $78,700, they are still in rough shape, left with only 4 percent after taxes and basics.

It's pretty sad to see a state nicknamed 'The Empire State' be so financially burdened that some residents can't even afford to save for retirement, college or even a reliable vehicle.

Do you know someone who has moved out of state in the last few years to find a better situation for their family?

I bet you do.

Time to get it together New York State.

You can read the full report at ReclaimNewYork.org.


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