With upstate counties struggling with population loss over the past decade, we owe it to our children to build an upstate economy that is sustainable for the next generation. New Yorkers in counties like Delaware (-1.5%), Fulton (-1.1%), Essex (-1%), and Sullivan (-1%) are facing significant population losses when compared to the US Population Growth statistics for the same 2010-2012 period of +1.7%. There is a strong message here for our legislators if they would just listen. The exit polls seem to overwhelmingly reveal that people are reluctantly leaving the state they love so much because of “better opportunities, less taxes, and jobs”. We hear it time and time again. That’s why Unshackle Upstate’s New ERA proposal is gaining some real attention through its grassroots efforts. The New ERA proposal reduces state income taxes by 25% for upstate residents making less than $50,000 and reduces the state sales tax share by 50% from 4% to 2% for upstate counties with significant declines in population. These policies allow upstaters to keep more of their own hard earned money and stimulate purchases in the counties that need them most creating more opportunities.
We need to clamor louder and louder to let the people’s voices be heard. It’s time for Albany to seriously consider all of the pillars of the New ERA plan which collectively can stimulate a better economy for New York and lessen the huge state and local tax burden of 12.8% that New Yorkers deal with. We still rank 49 out of 50 states in low taxes! We need to unleash the creative energies of the upstate economy with proactive policies that the New ERA plan proposes. Just like a garden, we need to prune the destructive weeds (we call them taxes and mandates), and provide a sunny environment with plenty of water for all New Yorkers. I think our collective garden would grow well and there would be plenty of harvest to share for all New Yorkers. Write your legislator and demand that they learn about Unshackle Upstate’s New ERA plan and adopt it for a better New York.