To the editor:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017, New York state experienced an out-migration of 190,508 residents, breaching the 1,000,000 mark of residents leaving the state since 2010.
Our people are leaving, and nothing our lawmakers and politicians have done has stymied this in any noteworthy fashion. People leaving New York state have a bevy of reasons for leaving, but the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon cites “lack of economic opportunity,” as a primary driver for migration away from our Upstate communities. Governor Cuomo claims that his administration has been economically friendly to New York residents, citing his minimum wage hike to $15 per hour and $20 billion “affordable housing” initiative. At surface level, these sound all well and good, but the money to fund the new minimum wage hits our wallets directly each time we visit our favorite fast-food burger joint, and the housing initiative is funded with state funds using our tax dollars.
The smoke and mirrors act must end. It’s time to pay attention to the man behind the curtain and realize that this supposedly economically-friendly administration is anything but. Kiplinger Online has listed New York state as one of the ten least tax-friendly states in America, coming in third behind Maryland and Minnesota. Our gasoline tax is 12 cents per gallon higher than the national average, and our average sales tax rate is the ninth highest in the country.
The loss of residents in our state continues to harm New Yorkers. Economic programs are just as expensive as they ever were, but are costing the average resident more and more as the tax paying population declines. The population decline impacts more than just the individual. At the end of 2017, Carolina Demography predicted that New York would lose yet another seat in the House of Representatives as a result of the upcoming 2020 census. New Yorkers are not only having our money withheld more than most other U.S. residents, but are soon to be represented less in the federal government.
It’s time our representatives at the state level stop grabbing for increasingly more of our hard-earned paychecks and work with what they already have in hand to create an environment with economic and career opportunity. I can’t tell you how many of my friends have moved out of New York even in just the past few months, telling me, “There’s just nothing for me here,” and “How am I supposed to survive when I lose almost half my paycheck each week?”
New Yorkers deserve representatives who understand the plight of our best and brightest, and who are committed to sustainable change in New York. We need people need to be saying “I Love NY” rather than “I’m Leaving NY.”
Candidate for New York State Assembly, District 127