Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Hah! we have an upstate downstate fight on ET.

Just because Republicans have made the same arguments is no reason to dismiss the argument.

We are really annoyed with NYC. What can I say? And my area is entirely Democrat. Dem mayor, Dem council members, Dem state congresspeople, Dem Fed congresspeople. They all have the same consensus on the situation. The GOP is absolutely dead up here in Buffalo. They won't even run anyone against the Democrats. Both our Reps are Democrats.

The billions you're quoting are also spent downstate. The entire state budget for state aid to local government totaled $1.5 billion in 2007, so if New York City is shelling out $7 billion, that money gets sucked up by the state mostly. Of the $1.5 billion, Paterson is about to cut $125 million due to the financial crisis. But New York City got $310 million of that state aid, while all the rest of the upstate cities got $550 million, and the suburbs and towns took the rest. So, the billions collected in New York don't all travel up here. The vast majority of it doesn't, in fact. Look at the Indian Casinos they've opened up here. The state  taxes on the casinos (largely local gamblers) number in the hundreds of millions. The state takes 93% of the tax revenue, and gives 7% to the locality. Why is the state taking 93% when the vast majority of gamblers (90%) are local?

We pay .54 per KwH. As I said, I know NYC's electric is subsidized. Ours is double. Not to mention our heating costs soar in the winter so that the power authority can generate more power by lowering the ice boom.

I live in the inner city. We have a lot of transplants up here who are poor, and undeniably the low costs of upstate with the same social services as downstate create a magnet for the region. We have the same exact social safety net as New York City, so again, why are the social services there better? They should be the same. I already quoted to you my property taxes which are $10,000 for a $250k house. 9% sales tax.

Let me put it to you this way. The Southern New England states pay 1/3rd of the property tax I do. Let's compare Buffalo to Providence, RI. Two postindustrial cities, both of which rely on their university and banking sector to prop up the city (Buffalo also has trade with Canada that props us up). Providence is flourishing with a tax structure that suits it. No one is accusing Providence of being another Mississippi. It's considered a solidly Democratic state, a liberal state, perhaps the most liberal in the entire USA. So, why can't Buffalo be like Providence? That's all I'm saying. It should be like Providence.

If you talk to upstaters, they're not asking for more tax money. That's not the discussion. It's all about energy resources and state mandates. Buffalo is one of the poorest cities in the country not because there are no industries, universities or big companies up here. It's because we have a huge community of people who are on government assisted social services. This is very unlike New York City. When an imbalance is created because of the mandates, then it becomes next to impossible to invest and improve the city.

by Upstate NY on Wed Aug 13th, 2008 at 08:34:07 PM EST
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