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The part that stings is many of these public union members get paid almost as much when they retire, until they die, and many of them can retire pretty early.

That is rarely the case, usually police and firefighters in major cities who get lots of overtime and put their lives on the line, not other municipal/state/federal workers. My son, a teacher in a well to do and liberal Boston suburb, needs to work a minimum of 37 years for full retirement benefits and has no opportunity for overtime.

In NY the property taxes have gotten so high, even if your house is paid off, your property taxes are 10 to 20 grand a year.

Property taxes have been high in NY state for decades, this isn;t new. Property tax of $10-20k sounds like a pretty big house. When my parents retired, they couldn't afford the property taxes on their close-in suburban NYC home. Rather than downsize to a neighborhood of small homes or move into a non-luxury condo of less than 3 BRs and 2BAs, they moved to a lower cost of living state in a warm climate (no more snow storms or icy roads).

We looked at small condos & coops in NYC in 2011, and in our price range, property taxes were less less than $10,000/year, usually half that or even less. And that was Manhattan and Brooklyn.

If you want to live in a big house and/or on a big lot in a state with good public infrastructure and services, it costs money.
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