April 7, 2019. This article exposes the state’s income gap problem by focusing on Saratoga County which has the distinction of being the fastest growing county but also the one with the greatest income disparity Upstate. Prompted by the Economic Policy Institutes’s report “The New Gilded Age,” the author Wendy Liberatore quotes their data, checks in with local community homeless and housing providers, and the Rev. Peter Cook, Executive Director for the New York Council of Churches, who detail the hardships that accompany the income disparity. However, county officials who believe in adhering to keeping property taxes low – despite the advocates concern that the 2% tax cap imposes austerity budgeting – cite state unfunded mandates as the problem.
Ron Deutsch, FPI Executive Director, was cited as part of an advocacy coalition that supported imposing a 1.5% tax on those who earn over 5 million to support education, health care and other services. Deutsch said “Obviously there are some very good things in the budget, but for our campaign, we wanted to see a much larger investment in programs and services for lower-income New Yorkers. They were largely ignored in this budget.” Speaking of the stark disparity evident in Saratoga County, Deutsch said “Saratoga is quickly becoming a city of have and have-nots.” Deutsch, who said that the top 1 percent get a third of all the income in the state, pointed out that many Saratoga County residents on tight budgets often move to one of the county’s many trailer parks. A look at the website www.mobilehome.net shows that Saratoga County hosts 122 of the state’s total 723 trailer parks, more than any other county. “Trailer parks are Saratoga’s affordable housing,” Deutsch said.
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