Today, The Journal News continues its reports on new U.S. Census Bureau data that documents spiraling taxes and declining incomes in the Lower Hudson Valley.
Reporter Tim Henderson explores that pattern, which is impacting many taxpayers as housing costs become a larger portion of their paychecks. Last week, Henderson reported that Westchester remained the county with the highest property taxes in the country last year, with a median bill above $10,000; Rockland’s median bill was $9,376 and it was $7,851 in Putnam.
Housing costs are squeezing already tight budgets. According to a Journal News analysis in the article, “Westchester, Rockland and Putnam renters typically pay more than a third of their income for rent, well above the recommended level of 30 percent, and half pay even more than that. That’s up several percentage points in recent years.” Property taxes are often passed along to renters in the form of higher rents.
Because of declining home prices, homeowners have a lower but still significant cost burden than renters with typically just under 30 percent of their incomes going towards housing costs. But the pill is made more bitter with rising prices of other necessities, including food and gas, observers say.
Taxes are one of several things squeezing people in this post-recession environment,” said Jonathan Drapkin of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress. “Gas prices are something that wasn’t even in the household budget before, and now if you’re a commuter it’s like $320 to $400 a month — it’s like a utility bill now.
To read the article, click here.