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Nearly two-thirds of respondents to this week's RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll are planning to stay in the area, compared with 32 percent who say it is likely they will move away in the next 12 months.
For those planning to leave, nearly 40 percent cite high taxes in New York as the reason.
Nearly a quarter of respondents likely to move say they are seeking better job opportunities elsewhere, and 10 percent say they'll be retiring.
A similar Snap Poll was conducted in May 2009, shortly after Paychex Inc. founder and chairman Thomas Golisano announced he was changing his residence to Florida, citing the burden of personal income and property taxes in New York. In that poll, 45 percent of some 1,000 respondents said it was likely they would move to another state within 12 months. And 70 percent of those cited high taxes in New York.
For those participants in this week's poll who said they were planning a move, an overwhelming 91 percent expect to head to another state. Nearly a quarter chose Florida, followed by 17 percent who answered North Carolina. South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia rounded out the top five.
Last week, readers shared the primary reason they choose to live in Rochester, and nearly half of respondents answered family. Roughly 18 percent of readers picked job and career.
About 815 readers participated in this week's poll, which was conducted Aug. 19 and 20.
How likely is it you will move away from the Rochester area in the next 12 months?
Very likely: 16%
Somewhat likely: 16%
Not very likely: 19%
Not at all likely: 49%
If you are likely to leave the Rochester area in the next 12 months, what is the primary reason?
High taxes in New York: 39%
Better job opportunities elsewhere: 24%
Social policies in New York: 6%
Family reasons: 5%
Employer relocation: 4%
Excessive regulation of business in New York: 3%
Better "free time" options elsewhere: 1%
If you are planning to move, where are you likely to go?
New York City: 2%
Elsewhere in New York: 6%
Another state: 91%
Another country: 2%
If you are planning to move to another state, where are you likely to go?
North Carolina: 17%
South Carolina: 7%
I’ve lived and worked in six other countries and traveled in four more; lived and worked in the Southwest United States, the D.C. metropolitan area and Western New York; and visited many other states. I’m staying in Rochester, thank you.
I first came to Rochester back in 1979 when Bausch & Lomb Inc. recruited me to join their strategic and tactical planning team. Almost immediately, I realized that I’d found the perfect community for a New York City kid who loves the great outdoors. I didn’t know it then, but Rochester would also prove to be a wonderful place to start and grow my own company—the Rochester Research Group—which has been thriving now for more than 29 years. And this will be my 36th winter as a Bristol Mountain ski instructor. I hope to grow old here and someday experience all that Rochester has to offer those in their 80s, 90s, etc. (Knock on wood!)
—Jocelyn Goldberg-Schaible, president, Rochester Research Group
I love Rochester, but the oppressive tax structure in New York State is simply out of control—with no end in sight.
—Robert B. Salmon
My wife and I have adjoining crypts in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, so if for some reason I do leave, I’m eventually coming back. My family is here, and the weather is tolerable and interesting. I even enjoy the way the snow crunches under my feet in the winter. I could do worse than being buried in the same cemetery as Col. Patrick O’Rorke.
—Clifford Jacobson M.D., Vanguard Psychiatric Services
As long as my investments continue to let me live comfortably, my health remains, and my health care costs are affordable, this is my earthly paradise. Change of seasons, close to water, not far from New York City or Toronto; I could go on. All these and there are more, but this is where it’s at for me.
—Ted Voll Jr.
They will have to pry my cold dead fingers off my Nordic ski poles to get me to leave Rochester. Neither my wife nor I is originally from here, but we love the change of seasons and the opportunities and challenges that each season offers. The robust and diverse cultural, educational, recreational and athletic programs are lively, attractively priced and close at hand. The combined blend of living costs with taxes are together key to this superb and affordable quality of life. Thanks for this opportunity to comment.
High property taxes, income taxes and inheritance taxes drive the rich and not so rich out of New York.
—Bruce Anderson, Alpha & Omega Parable Christian Stores
As much as I love the Finger Lakes region, the corrupt and dishonest government, high taxes, leftist socialism and government regulation and interference in everything we do is too depressing to stay.
—Jim Weisbeck, Bloomfield
When I retire, we will live six-plus months in another state where the taxes are less burdensome. We will have a “home” here to enjoy late spring, summer and early fall.
I have property in Livingston County where taxes are much lower and they use less salt on the roads. I hope to move there within two years.
The liberal policies, ridiculous taxes, infringement of Second Amendment rights and general “nanny state” mentality makes anywhere but New York a better place to be.
—Frank Gerham Jr., Frank 401-K
I have weathered all sorts of storms in the Rochester area since 1979. However unlikely it is that I’d leave, the only reason I’d have is that taxes to support non-productive New Yorkers are ever-growing and placing an unfair burden upon productive New Yorkers. New York has made it too easy to get enough money to survive without working. Those who do work and pay taxes get very little from the state. Thus it would not be “Rochester” I would be leaving, but the state. Where would I go? Any state that has no state income tax, good employment opportunities and does not encourage unproductive persons to not work by providing them with everything that the working stiff must break his back to achieve.
—Michael F. Kloppel, Canandaigua
Upstate New York needs more computer jobs. We have the schools locally flooding the market with people.
This is not the time to abandon Rochester!
—J.A. DePaolis, Penfield
The cost of doing business in New York State is way too high. Taxes and excessive regulations make it very difficult. If it wasn’t for my family and dedicated employees, I would move my business.
8/23/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.