upstate money pressures series

It's no surprise: Taxpayers living in New York state are subject to some of the highest rates in the country.

No one pays more state and local income taxes out of a paycheck than New Yorkers do, according to recent data from the Tax Foundation. The state also ranks fourth overall in property tax collections.

With that, one might be quick to think that complaining about the state's tax burden is a given. But not always.

Venessa Rodriguez of Endicott is happy with her health insurance. But one thing she's not thrilled about is that it's not always clear what she owes when she goes to the doctor.

"I think what's happened a few times (is) my doctor's office will send a lab away," she said. "And then (I come to) find out that the lab was not covered under my insurance."

The same goes for Barbara Johnston from Rochester.

Voters head to the polls next week with every seat in the New York State Legislature up for grabs. But will Albany's costly effort to create jobs make a difference in the election?

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO News

In upstate, the minimum wage is at $9, but will rise to $12.50 by the end of 2020. It is an issue that affects many across upstate, from farmers and small business owners to the workers themselves.

Anthony Emmi is the general manager of Emmi and Sons Farm in Baldwinsville, just outside of Syracuse. Among the crops are tomatoes, squash and peppers.

“I raise about seven acres now, the bell peppers,” Emmi said. “I started cutting back, we were at 72 acres. We used to ship up and down the east coast. Now, New York state is it.”