We all complain that New York taxes are high. But how much does it actually cost to live comfortably in Central New York?

The Economic Policy Institute has a tool on their website to determine how much income is necessary for a family to have a modest standard of living. They broke down estimated monthly costs for our area in a variety of categories and arrived at the following "ideal" annual incomes:

  • Onondaga County: $97,696
  • Madison County: $93,104
  • Oneida County: $89,593
  • Herkimer County: $85,998

Are the figures higher or lower than you would have guessed? EPI used the following categories to determine target income - housing, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare, basic necessities and taxes. They did not include saving for retirement or other expenses. Here's EPI's monthly breakdown of each expense for Oneida County:

  • Housing: $798
  • Food: $756
  • Child Care: $1932
  • Transportation: $1160
  • Healthcare: $1154
  • Other Necessities: $627
  • Taxes: $1039

These estimates are based on a family of 2 adults and 2 children. Do you spend more or less in any of these categories? You can use the Family Budget Calculator on their site to change the location or size of the family.