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  1. Brian Dillon
    January 15, 2019 @ 11:40 am

    The reason upstate New York hates NY government is because they don’t do anything for us. They say casinos are doing that. I haven’t noticed the difference myself. Upstate is totally ignored by Cuomo. Also Republicans in this state are frowned upon. Hence I bet a lot of the people leaving are Republicans.

    • Eric
      November 16, 2021 @ 4:07 pm

      We departed due to taxes and lack of opportunity, also not sure where you received your tax info?… Did you consider the “school tax” on top of the property it’s very deceptive…. $215k we paid $9k…. Sick…. Sales tax, state tax etc…. Destructive policies.

  2. Lou
    January 15, 2019 @ 6:34 pm

    I left Rochester suburb for South Carolina. I loved all the seasons in upstate…though gotta say that the stretches of grey skies in winter could get to you. But it was taxes that made me move. Bought a house down here just about the same price as the one i left in Rochester. With the difference in the tax bill my wife and I went on a Carribean cruise and a two week trip to Europe.

  3. Pat
    January 16, 2019 @ 1:03 am

    I live about 20mins away from Roscoe and about an hour or so from Binghamton. True, most of what you said is true. Where I live and you live are totally different but also communities are different. Where I live there maybe nothing if people want to think that but I see more diversity. Upstate or higher my friend would tell me its “wonder bread” up there or white people even though there’s different cultures in each area. I tend to think that upstate are more community oriented than where I live as well as the preparation of fast food and food products sold. I have hope for my area but still people sometimes can’t deal with this area. There is a form of pessimism and the feeling that change isn’t coming quick enough that people lose interest in the area. I don’t really care about politics as long as it doesn’t affect my wellbeing but I love where I was born and raised. If people don’t want a part of it then that’s fine and there will always be a home for whoever wants to live upstate or be welcomed back. As for weather, it will always be too hot or too cold and the winter will seem to feel as though trapped and devoured within a gray cloud of darkness but that is nothing compared to the beauty each area NYS has to offer and literally for people it might be too much to take.

  4. Jason
    January 16, 2019 @ 3:14 pm

    Combined Sales and Income Taxes – NYS leads the way at 12.7% with CT at 12.6 and NJ 12.2. So while you are right….that NYS never comes in first for any single one tax (Property / Income / Sales) we always come in the top…and when you look at what we pay in total Sales / Income / Property – NYS is without doubt top three if not top 1. So downplaying taxes does a disservice. It hurts the people that live here and it hurts the companies….which further hurts people living here. On top of that we have tax free zones where our corrupt politicians are picking and choosing who gets those benefits thus picking the winners while everyone else has to pay taxes to support them. We also have Albany controlled by downstate….thus it’s downstate that is telling us how to live. They want to ship their trash and have take our clean water and have us produce their energy…but they want to dictate how we produce that energy.

  5. What's There To Love About Upstate New York? |
    January 27, 2019 @ 8:02 am

    […] wrote this post about the reasons people most often give for leaving New York and moving elsewhere. But, so many of […]

  6. Eleanor Celentani
    January 28, 2019 @ 12:16 am

    Thanks for this article, Chris. It was informative. Nice to have hard facts to look at. Maybe the state should advertise its diversity more, telling people that we have a wide variety of types of communities to choose from, and consider that a good thing.

    Of course resentment in politics doesn’t help anything. New, creative ideas are what unleash prosperity, which I think everyone wants. I know I am somewhat biased, but I feel problems of this nature needs to be looked at from a spiritual consciousness point of view, as well as the points of view you have listed in the article. On earth, conditions change, but our beliefs and attitudes have power to improve outcomes. This requires faith and patience, qualities not so evident in our 21st century mindset.

  7. Paul McGloin
    February 28, 2019 @ 2:06 pm

    Whoever wrote this article has an agenda: “Aw, it it really so bad?” The answer: “Yes…it is.” People vote with their feet. At some point, New York will figure it out. But by then, New York will be the fifteenth most populous state in the nation, and my great-grandchildren will be approaching retirement. Good luck, NY!

  8. Armchair Birdwatching In Upstate |
    May 11, 2019 @ 7:49 am

    […] all know that Mother Nature can be a bit of a moody gal, especially here in Upstate New York. Snow on Mother’s Day? Sure, that’s just her way to remind […]

  9. Jazz Fest is the Perfect Time to Visit Rochester |
    July 8, 2019 @ 6:41 pm

    […] so many other Rust Belt cities in the northeast, Rochester is undergoing a reincarnation. Its rebirth is maturing toward a […]

  10. Eric
    July 26, 2019 @ 7:25 pm

    All of the high paying manufacturing jobs are gone through all of central NY. Being replaced by low wage garbage jobs. The economy is shot and isn’t coming back anytime soon. The only hope we have is global warming driving people back up here

  11. Darren
    August 4, 2019 @ 4:12 am

    Every state, County, city, has its ups and downs. Sometimes it’s due season and or weather; not to mention temperatures. Not one is gonna be perfect. You can live in a warmer state, but then you’re gonna have to deal with a different climate. Personally, I’d love to have 6 months of warm weather and 6 months of cold.

  12. Michael
    August 27, 2019 @ 8:28 pm

    While I’ve lived in eastern Broome County for over a year while being from Raleigh NC, NY has many great things about it. For example, the various small town communities, pride in agriculture, tough, hardworking hands on kind of people. So many people I know here can work on a car, build a deck, do plumbing, etc etc..the climate produces a tough mentality and the work here is tough if you want to survive, but it produces some great people. Admirable…the negatives aren’t many but they’re big. The bighest being the weather, there are better options, of you want lush green summers with rolling hills or maintains the Southern Appalachians has all of that, except summer starts a month earlier and ends a month later. Winters aren’t as harsh and there isn’t a mud season. No black fly season. Yes, the South has more bugs but the flies/mosquitoes up here are worse. More days of sun, fewer clouds. Politics up here are ridiculous. You have a city telling country people what to do. Gas prices here suck. Roads here suck. Rust sucks. People are clearly leaving, you see homes for sale all over cities like Binghamton. Vacant buildings are rampant. These are just some observations Ive seen while being in the Southern Tier for a year having never been here prior. Goodluck NY

  13. 24-hours in Fulton County | Exploring Upstate
    September 4, 2019 @ 5:28 pm

    […] in the towns they live, or work, or drive through in-between. There’s not just a need to explore Upstate NY, it’s about re-discovering what’s outside your own door. Giving Chris the local touch tour […]

  14. Kat
    October 13, 2019 @ 3:49 pm

    Can’t do anything about the weather in NY but it’s still a beautiful area! Or you can deal with hurricanes and bugs in the south or trade a harsh winter for an even harsher five month long AZ summer which is what I have done. Honestly, I hate the weather here too. I still miss NY, but I miss the old New York, the way it used to be! It breaks my heart to come back to boarded up houses in Binghamton and observe the steady decline on all levels. Lots of bad political decisions and those in charge, just not doing enough to keep “good” jobs in the area. IBM, Link Aviation…gone. Power company allowed acquisition by a foreign country moves company headquarters out of area. Some things you can control and some you can’t, i.e. death of the Malls/brick & mortar stores. Life goes in cycles and the Technological Era is the new industrial revolution. New York, once a leader has now fallen so far behind. The money needs to be funded to Upstate communities to fix their infrastructure and make the airport competitive like Elmira and Scranton……it can be done. There is so much more to NY than NYC. I sure don’t have the answers, just an observation but always have NY in my heart & head and keep hoping for a miracle to save what’s left and a thank you to those who try to do so.

  15. Ed
    November 10, 2019 @ 10:26 am

    Too many upstate new yorkers are reactionary and blame other’s for things their own fault. Taxes are high partially because people choose to live in suburbs, which have higher property taxes than cities. Urban sprawl requires more money to pay for, and upkeep of, roads, sewers, power lines, fire services, etc…. than a more dense urban area requires. Decades of pushing car uae and a lack of investment in public transportation leads to more expenses for autos. Instead of dealing with the root of the problem, people react and blame high gas prices.
    The “were not someplace else” attitude is self defeating. Upstate can never be Paris, or San Francisco, but we can be upstate New York. Rather than build that upstate, too many react, complain it isn’t what it was, and want something that can never be. How can you keep and attract the youth when they grew up hearing about the problems and being told their future can never be here.
    There are many reasons to love, and hate, any place. Upstate will thrive or die upon the mindset of its inhabitants, too many which aren’t wanting it to shine because it would mean they would have to change themselves.

    • VP
      May 30, 2020 @ 7:19 pm

      There are many states with urban sprawl without such high taxation. MN, AZ, CO – on a relative basis, most areas aren’t so harsh. Further, income taxes are incredibly high. Most of the money is going toward healthcare.

  16. Sibley's West: A Rochester Icon In Phoenix | Exploring Upstate
    November 24, 2019 @ 3:44 pm

    […] why it’s not uncommon to hear that people have migrated from Upstate to warmer climates. Some of those with a […]

  17. 1969-1987
    December 30, 2019 @ 4:27 pm

    Every contributer on this site that has a positive input for NY state needs to dig deep and find that honest person inside. You are lying to yourself and it’s what I find most disappointing about New York. People need to wake up. Those that complain need to unite with those that continually sugarcoat the situation and find a solution for central NY that doesn’t include Albany and NYC. Get over yourselves and do something! The state is a sham. You pay $7,000 in taxes for a $250K home? You actually still justify the amount of income and property(school) taxes you pay? I’ve lived in 7 different states on each coast and the Midwest, and after studying their laws and taxes along with adjacent states, NY state is only keeping you fiscally irresponsible and burdened for generations. I was one of the lucky ones that was able to sit along with my Grandparents and hear there living history of the use of state resources and manufacturing. By 1985, before I left NY after high school in 1987, I had already seen the light. As I imagine many of the thousands that leave every year since then have realized also (but you can use one year as an example to sugar coat something positive). As I return year after year to visit and speak to family, they comment on how many homes are turned to shady rentals because the folks can’t afford to purchase with there lack of income and the property taxes each year. I could go on and on, but if your still living in NY you’ve probably already given up. Just remember, when you’re looking for something positive to architect your future, make sure to reference the article writers comparison to the work force from during the fall of the Erie Canal and the positive changes you reaping now from that era.

  18. Betting That You'll Enjoy Turning Stone | Exploring Upstate
    January 4, 2020 @ 8:17 am

    […] thing I know people struggle with in Upstate is weather. Winters can be tough. Bundling up in gear just to walk out to the car can feel […]

  19. Kevin J Hanley
    January 31, 2020 @ 9:48 pm

    If I did not have my land I would leave New York State. There is too much government infringement on privacy. The population of the metropolitan areas are greater than the combined rural areas so we are dominated and out-voted by that majority that imposes unrealistic and selfish rules on the rural inhabitants. Taxes, especially property taxes, are so high that it is difficult to sell property at fair prices so people from other states do not wish to purchase property here. Legislators representing the high poplation (high vote) areas have no interest or concern for the rural residents.

  20. Bertha
    February 1, 2020 @ 2:42 pm

    Population drop in ny is high Taxes and Cuomo ridiculous laws that jeopardize citizens safety!!

    • D
      November 13, 2022 @ 5:47 pm

      If love to hear where people have moved that isn’t presently suffering the result of suburban sprawl from snowbirds driving up taxes.
      Florida, The Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee etc plus the midwest are suffering from take the money and run contractors building massive suburb developments. Where’s the infrastructure going to get the money? These alternatives are cheap now, but give it 5 years. Florida was already a victim of suburban sprawl on swampland.
      The future of upstate New York depends on innovative technologies of which America severely lacks. If a city adopted a manufacturing sector of green energy that is applied to the city itself as a showcase, they would set the price for the rest of the country. This includes a high-speed train system to and from these smaller cities in upstate New York. But we think backwards in this country while you’re a fly’s way ahead of us. Anybody who’s been there can tell you.
      We have the raw goods, the infrastructure, and the workforces for these innovative industries. We just don’t have the impetus because capitalism likes to stay where it is.

  21. Irene Chaffee
    April 19, 2020 @ 1:49 pm

    Just try to get land as cheap as you’ll find in beautiful upstate NY.. Beautiful rolling hills, unspoiled by development.. I love NY State. Trick is you have to find a place to get away during a couple of the freezing cold months…that’s all ..haha

  22. Bob Wheela
    May 26, 2020 @ 1:50 pm

    Upstate NY is a beautiful place. Great food and some great people.

    But good luck looking for any “diversity” in the politics up here.

    Tell the townies you vote Dem or Independent and they’ll key your car here.

  23. TG
    June 24, 2020 @ 6:29 pm

    One thing I didn’t see in the article is how hard it is to keep a small business going in Northern NY. This governor, like his father, seems to feel that every small business has the same resources as large corporations. Try deciphering some of the rules and regulations you need to comply with. At some point you’d need a team of lawyers just to figure it out. My family and I have been self employed in Massena (on the Canadian border) all our lives and it’s getting nearly impossible to keep up with the states regulations and taxes. Small business owners are calling it quits left and right and moving to other states. Some of them are friends whom I keep in contact with. It’s always the same…”You NEED to get out of NY! You won’t believe how much more business friendly (fill in the blank) is.” Now with Covid19 we likely won’t even open our seasonal business this year. We simply can’t meet the ridiculous requirements the governor is calling for and in many cases no clarity from the state or county as to what those requirements even are! Kill off enough small businesses and people leave.

  24. Bergen Water Gardens and lots of Lotus Flowers | Exploring Upstate
    July 28, 2020 @ 8:17 am

    […] with other backyard pond supplies. Since you may choose to bring your lotus flower inside for our Upstate winter, they have gorgeous pottery to keep your plants […]

  25. Kevin
    September 25, 2020 @ 11:57 pm

    Property taxes in upstate NY are ridiculously high.
    The roads and infrastructure suck
    Schools are mediocre despite the high property taxes
    The weather is crappy most days of the year
    Food is NOT good …
    The skiing sucks
    Cycling on the roads means risking your life
    Most cities are ugly and look like a post industrial urban decay zone
    Locals are rude to outsiders…

  26. Cgh
    March 12, 2021 @ 12:12 pm

    Its not just the “high taxes”, its more that you don’t get as much for your money as in other states. I came here from WA which also has high taxes, but we also have functional public transit (a lot of upstate doesn’t even have public buses), drinkable tap water, properly maintained roads etc. Just the sheer amount of rules and regulations on everything are overwhelming to someone used to living in the western USA, I can only imagine that makes a lot of people move.