August 17, 2004

Community yard sale in Varna, upstate taxes

This morning's Ithaca Journal notes a community yard sale that will be held in Varna on Saturday, August 21st. There will be tables at the Varna Community Center (map) and maps for other local yard sales will be available.

There's also an article on Upstate New York paying higher taxes than Ohio. I have two big questions about the article. First, it seems like a press release for the Business Council of New York, one in a long series. The Business Council's perspective seems to be simple: they don't ever want to pay more taxes. (Their actual press release is here, and the report is here.) Second, the responses aren't particularly clear. I'm not sure what to make of the discussions about balancing local and state spending, and they make even less sense when combined with the original press release.

It does highlight that there is an awful lot to do in reforming New York State government to make these conversations more meaningful, but it seems like that will require more than just looking for tax cuts. Reading the report, they say that "the key to closing the tax gap Upstate is to downsize local government," but also note that the "the burden of the state’s personal income tax is worse Downstate than Upstate" and that New York's pattern of mandating local spending shifts costs away from the income tax and to upstate. The Business Council, of course, doesn't seem excited about raising income taxes, and points to the costs of New York City to drive a regional wedge in that idea. The only answer they like is cutting upstate government, not changing how it's paid for. I wonder what income tax bracket the Business Council's leadership and analysts are in.

In the lemons to lemonade category, the Journal notes at the end of its editorial that the never-ending rain we've had this summer will produce an excellent crop of apples.

Posted by simon at August 17, 2004 8:53 AM in , , , ,
Note on photos