An organization in Upstate New York is posing a question: Is it possible to secede to Pennsylvania?
According to WBNG, the Upstate New York Towns Association is researching the topic. The group says a few factors pushing its research are high property taxes, low sales tax revenue and the decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York.
"The Southern Tier is desolate," said Conklin Town Supervisor Jim Finch (R) told WBNG. "We have no jobs and no income. The richest resource we have is in the ground."
Finch said the ground in Conklin is rich with natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. However, that shale is unable to be tapped. He described this ban as a violation of his natural rights as a property owner.
15 towns are interested in secession, according to the Towns Association.
The association said it's comparing taxes and the cost of doing business in the two states.
"We're comparing the taxes in Pennsylvania compared to those in New York," said Finch. "There's a great, great difference. Right now, we are being deprived of work, jobs and incomes."
Also being considered are things like workers comp, surcharges, unemployment and health insurance. The association's understanding is that the secession would have to be approved by the New York State Legislature, the Pennsylvania State Legislature and the U. S. government.
Action News spoke with John Gage, a local owner of Reliable Market, who said he fully supports the idea.
"The tax structure in New York is just horrible to do business in," said Gage. "Whether it's fracking, or other reasons to secede, it sounds like a good idea to me."