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More people think about leaving the Empire State

   The story of Nancy Bell and her two sons leaving upstate for more fertile grounds elsewhere in the nation is nothing new.

   The reasons, however, are more current: the newly enacted 2009 state budget, which between a rise in income taxes and future end of an economic development program that helps companies like the one run by the Bells. Together, the provisions in the budget were enough to convince Nancy Bell to move her small manufacturing company, Science First, from Buffalo to Florida.

   Lost is a company founded by her grandfather four decades ago. Also lost is the 21 jobs it now provides in Buffalo.

   What will it take for Albany to listen to the complaints of small business owners like Bell? People like her feel they've been asking that question for too many years, and now can no longer afford to stay here.

   Turns out she is not alone. A new poll out this morning by the Siena College Research Institute has found 11 percent of New Yorkers are seriously thinking about moving if the conditions in the state do not improve. Worse, 10 percent say they would like to move "as quickly as I can."

   Another 36 percent say they have no plans to move, meaning they aren't ruling it for the future, and 25 percent say they might flee once they retire.

   That leaves just 16 percent who say they will never move.

   The subgroup with the highest percentage wanting to move as quickly as possible? Younger people -- age 18 to 34 years old -- 14 percent of whom say they want out now. That would be the group just starting their careers or families. And 30 percent of upstate residents say they might move elsewhere when they retire.

   Turns out Nancy Bell is not the exception.

   --Tom Precious


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