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Binghamton & Whitney Point make list of Upstate's top 50 poorest

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Whitney Point made the list at #50, and Binghamton became more poor, moving from #21 to #19.

#19 Binghamton, city (Broome County)

Median household income: $31,103

Family median: $45,518
Non-family median: $21,996

Total households: 19,974

Previous rank: #21

 

#50 Whitney Point, village (Broome County)

Median household income: $34,318

Family median: $55,563
Non-family median: $25,398

Total households: 390

Previous rank: unranked

 

https://expo.syracuse.com/news/g66l-2019/07/9f4bd6a9bc254/these-are-the-50-poorest-cities-and-villages-in-upstate-ny-ranked.html

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For some perspective, the median family income in this country is around $75,000. A few towns on that list, like Ithaca, are in the ballpark of "normal".

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEFAINUSA646N

Still, you try to tell a certain demographic that this isn't normal and talk about real numbers, you'll usually get some mumbled response about figures lying and liars figuring. Most don't want to believe how out-of-touch the local economy is with the rest of the country. I'd argue part of the reason we can't make meaningful changes in the area is because a lot of people don't want to accept that things have to change and that the government's never going to roll in and send the area back in time to better days.

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Average family income is low, but the cost of housing is ridiculously low compared to a whole lot of the country. Plus you can get all kinds of food stamps and welfare programs....

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17 hours ago, M_Sable said:

Average family income is low, but the cost of housing is ridiculously low compared to a whole lot of the country.

So don't get me wrong, I live here. I like it fine and all that, but I hear this claim a lot. Let's test homeownership here against one of the growing parts of the country. This is rough and there are a lot of things I'm not factoring in, but I'm just banging it out based on the data I found checking quickly:

Broome County, NY

Census says the median family income is $57,500.

Median home value is $115,100.

Average property tax is $3,692.

Maricopa County, AZ

Census says the median family income is $65,500.

Median home value is $273,200.

Average property tax is $1,418.

 

If you carried a 30-year mortgage on the entire amount at 4.5%:

Broome County, NY

You've earned $1,725,000.

You've paid the bank $209,950 for your house.

You've paid the county $110,760 in property taxes.

You have $115,100 in equity.

Maricopa County, AZ

You've earned $1,965,000.

You've paid the bank $498,335 for your house.

You've paid the county $42,540 in property taxes.

You have $273,200 in equity.

 

Unless I pushed the wrong buttons in a hurry, all else being equal, this nets to about $1,519,390 in Broome, and $1,697,325 in Maricopa.

That's before you take into account all the other issues. State income taxes are considerably higher. Houses in Broome and houses in the rest of the country are apples and oranges, typically being much smaller, older and maintenance-heavy, and needing tens of thousands of dollars of updates. At a time when air travel is at all-time highs and a central part of middle-class American life, the local airport only flies to Detroit and we can't even really be sure it'll exist in a few years. The same is true of many other fairly basic local amenities.

All for the low, low price of an extra $175,000 over thirty years, which is roughly the entirety of what most households have saved at retirement. Put another way, our theoretical median person is already falling behind by about $500 a month. It only gets worse after the thirty years is up, because they keep paying the high property taxes but are no longer building equity.

Then people wonder why they can't get college graduates to give the area a chance or skilled workers to relocate to the area.

Now, at this point in this conversation, some local old-timer says something sentimental about factories that don't exist anymore and declares that if people don't like it here, they should leave - which, I mean, yeah. They are. That's the problem. What moves in to replace them is mostly addicted and unemployable because a large percentage of the housing stock is nearly worthless and so allowed to deteriorate until it's barely habitable, because sinking money into it would be a losing deal. Those are the people who are willing to live that way.

The mentality of trying to freeze the area in the 20th century and keeping everything as cheap as possible to cater to mediocre employers isn't ever going to deliver.

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I make this point to people often.  It's not just the cost of the house, it's the taxes.  You can afford a lot more house somewhere else.  Plus NY electricity is very expensive, gasoline is expensive, insurance, etc are all more than many places.  It's a great area (or at least it was) - but it's very expensive to live in Binghamton.

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^lol, I travel around so much I should just tell people I'm running for Governor. 

Speaking of.. I was in Albany...sometime this past week...it's all a blur, :)...I ran into a bunch of streets that looked 100 times worse than Liberty St ever looked. Do you suppose  Governor Cuomo could clean up his own neighborhoods in his own city? Billions in economic development...what a joke.

Edited by ginger

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Bingoloid is on target. The housing costs are very low, but the cost of living and taxes are very high. My bad.

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Taxes are so high because we have to support the other states. NY is one of those states that gets back less than it gives to the federal government. Sure, those Southern states have cheap taxes, it's because they keep sucking off the federal governments teat.

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8 hours ago, binghamtonian said:

Taxes are so high because we have to support the other states. NY is one of those states that gets back less than it gives to the federal government. Sure, those Southern states have cheap taxes, it's because they keep sucking off the federal governments teat.

We do truly appeciate it, y'all ;)

Don't forget the 50% of NY State taxes that go to the big suckhole....er...NYC.

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Warning: I just woke up and I'm in a mood...working on that first cup of coffee. Can we please just build some kind of monstrosity to look at? I'm not sure if I ever discussed MY dream for that STOW MFG site but...

I want the world...I want an Epcot like ride that looks like the unisphere in Flushing Meadow that you can see from the highway. The movie should provide a Cinerama(the movie) experience of upstate NY..."The Upstate NY Experience". I want a large Swiss Chalet type house with a large ice skating rink and a structure similar to Faneuil Hall with upstate NY food kiosks. Yes there should be halupki and pieroghi and chicken riggies ...and spiedies. NO PIZZA AND HOTDOGS ALLOWED. The skating rink should be able to convert to fountains for the summer. This really should be the best off highway experience for travellers. I'd like to see classes of students from all over the state to come visit by train and of course we should do something good with the railroad near there. Better than Harry Potter. 

Feel free to add to this if you're inspired to do so. :)

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BTW, I don't see why we can't have a Whole Foods on the Northside of Binghamton. My daughter and I shopped in one by her. You can put that store anywhere and people are going to come. They had half barrels of petunias for $7.99. I know it's a little late in the season nevertheless...what a price. Also, I really didn't think their prices were terrible. 

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14 hours ago, ginger said:

BTW, I don't see why we can't have a Whole Foods on the Northside of Binghamton. My daughter and I shopped in one by her. You can put that store anywhere and people are going to come. They had half barrels of petunias for $7.99. I know it's a little late in the season nevertheless...what a price. Also, I really didn't think their prices were terrible. 

Better chances of another Dollar General.

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21 hours ago, M_Sable said:

 

We do truly appeciate it, y'all ;)

Don't forget the 50% of NY State taxes that go to the big suckhole....er...NYC.

 

Not really, Upstate gets more money than downstate does. Downstate contributes just over 2/3 of the taxes that the State takes in. That's why I laugh so much when people are like Upstate should break away and form its own state. LOL, sure, then it will become one of the poor states.

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18 hours ago, binghamtonian said:

 

Not really, Upstate gets more money than downstate does. Downstate contributes just over 2/3 of the taxes that the State takes in. That's why I laugh so much when people are like Upstate should break away and form its own state. LOL, sure, then it will become one of the poor states.

Link?

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2 hours ago, Spuds said:

That is how much is collected.  But where does the money go to?  Up state or down state?

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1 hour ago, PeteMoss said:

That is how much is collected.  But where does the money go to?  Up state or down state?

I did say that downstate contributes over 2/3 of the tax revenue in the state, so that link is correct.

Also, if they're collecting that much from just down there, that still means even if they got 50% they're getting less than they put in.

To answer your question though...

https://www.politifact.com/new-york/statements/2016/oct/14/chris-jacobs/state-spends-more-western-new-york-it-receives-tax/

https://observer.com/2014/10/northern-exposure-the-give-and-take-between-upstate-and-downstate/

Yes, this is from 2011, but it's a trend that is still going on today

https://rockinst.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2011-12-Giving_and_Getting-min.pdf

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2 hours ago, binghamtonian said:

I did say that downstate contributes over 2/3 of the tax revenue in the state, so that link is correct.

Also, if they're collecting that much from just down there, that still means even if they got 50% they're getting less than they put in.

To answer your question though...

https://www.politifact.com/new-york/statements/2016/oct/14/chris-jacobs/state-spends-more-western-new-york-it-receives-tax/

https://observer.com/2014/10/northern-exposure-the-give-and-take-between-upstate-and-downstate/

Yes, this is from 2011, but it's a trend that is still going on today

https://rockinst.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/2011-12-Giving_and_Getting-min.pdf

Links to news articles are proof of nothing.  How about some real numbers from NYS?

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17 hours ago, Spuds said:

This is admittedly old, but I suspect still valid.  https://www.syracuse.com/news/2011/12/upstate_ny_grabs_more_than_it.html

Not a governmental agency.  News sources can and do lie all the time.

The link in the article is to a reference that does not exist.

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