Friday, October 26, 2007

Conservatives to Upstate: Drop Dead

Okay, it's not that bad, but this article in the house organ of the Manhattan Institute has an interesting discussion of the economic problems of upstate in general and Buffalo in particular, ending with the most generic conservative fix imaginable: reduce government spending and cut taxes.

Now, that being said...where does all that tax money go in New York State? Looking at the local-state tax burden data, the three states I've lived in represent the full spectrum. There are very clear differences in the level of public services between New Hampshire and Massachusetts, but I can't think of a difference between Massachusetts and New York.


James said...

Possible answers for my own question: cities and towns in Massachusetts fund schools with general revenues rather than with a separate levy and Massachusetts has weak or abolished counties.

Friday, October 26, 2007 10:22:00 AM  
Judi said...

Massachusetts has no shoulders on its roads!

Friday, October 26, 2007 2:27:00 PM  
Mom said...

I was just going to say that when we moved here from Mass. to NY, the first thing we noticed was the incredible great roads here. Even dinky little country roads in NY are better-built and better-kept-up than state highways in MA.

The schools are better in NY too -- much better. I'm not sure if this is true all over MA or just in the western, rural part where we lived, but the combination of the much-lower state contribution to school budgets made in MA compared to NY and Proposition 2 1/2 (still in effect, James? It was then, anyway) which limited how much a town could increase its property taxes in any given year (the only source for school funding other than state $$) had the schools absolutely over a barrel. From what I hear from friends in our old town, it's still like that there.

On the other hand, not having as much government at the county level and not having so many overlapping, often redundant village/town/county governments, all employing people and offering services, does save MA a lot of money.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 8:28:00 PM  
James said...

Yup, Prop 2 1/2 is alive and kicking. I'm not sure that having the schools over a barrel is such a bad thing; anecdotally, there doesn't seem to be a huge difference in outcomes.

Thursday, November 01, 2007 10:42:00 AM  

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