New York lost 48,510 residents between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018, according to the census bureau. It was one of only nine states that year to suffer a population loss.
Some of that loss comes from more people dying than being born, but its also obvious that high taxes in the state and a high cost of living make it unattractive for many Americans. But late last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, spun the news of a budget shortfall another way: It’s Florida’s fault.
Darn that Sunshine State and its warmer climate and lower taxes!
Cuomo also blamed President Donald Trump’s tax law, which limited “federal deductions on real estate and other local taxes,” according to Bloomberg. This hurt states with high taxes, like New York and other states in the North East, and helped states with already low tax liabilities, like Florida.
“It was politically diabolical and also highly effective,” Cuomo said, according to Bloomberg. “And if your goal is to help Republican states and hurt Democratic states this is the way to do it.”
The Empire State suffered a $2.3 billion revenue shortfall, which Cuomo blamed on the tax law, even though national tax revenue is higher than it was before the tax cuts. Wealthy New Yorkers are looking to leave the high-tax state and provide 46% of the state’s income-tax revenue, Bloomberg reported.
“They are investors, they have accountants, they are making informed decisions,” Cuomo acknowledged. “This is going to be the tipping point and people will now be making a geographical change.”
Maybe instead of blaming another state for stealing residents, Cuomo could make New York more attractive to its own residents.
Instead, the state does whatever it can to make moving to the Sunshine State a nightmare.
“Like other high-tax states, New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance will go to great lengths to keep wealthy residents on their tax lists. The states’ methods can be aggressive: Issuing subpoenas to pore through credit card statements, bank transactions or phone records to track a taxpayer’s location, and sending auditors to interview doormen or confirm doctors’ appointments,” Bloomberg reported.
Cuomo also plans to sue the Trump administration over the new tax law. High-tax states really don’t want people to realize just how bad it is to live in them.
Over at Hot Air, Jazz Shaw explained that only a small number of people would see their state and local tax bill increase — and that would be extremely wealthy people, who are also the ones most likely to leave high-tax states.
“It’s probably not going to do any good, but somebody should really ask Governor Cuomo if it’s really fair to 'blame Florida' for the exodus of New Yorkers. If you tax people heavily enough while doing your level best to suppress their constitutional rights, they’ll eventually just leave. And if you’re bleeding out all of the top earners and replacing them with lower skilled labor or illegal immigrants, that’s not going to do much for your budget situation,” Shaw wrote in an article about Cuomo blaming Florida — and not himself or his state’s high taxes — for the exodus.