New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been visiting New Yorkers who fled the state during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, begging them to return to the state from Connecticut and other second-home locations after admitting the “one percent” pay a shocking 50% of state taxes.
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been begging rich people to return to New York City from their second-home retreats so they can pay taxes to help offset the state’s growing coronavirus-related revenue shortfall,” the New York Post reported Tuesday.
New York remains the epicenter of the country’s battle with COVID-19, having suffered at least 32,422 deaths from the virus. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that New York has seen 411,736 cases of the virus since March 1st, nearly half of which were recorded in New York City, where many of those Cuomo’s targeting lived before escaping to second homes in places like Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Florida.
Even those who simply relocated to more bucolic surroundings inside New York state are being asked to return to New York City because taxpayers in NYC pay an additional state tax “surcharge” for the privilege of living in Manhattan.
Cuomo’s even offering perks.
“I literally talk to people all day long who are now in their Hamptons house who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house, or in their Connecticut weekend house, and I say, ‘You got to come back! We’ll go to dinner! I’ll buy you a drink! Come over, I’ll cook!’” Cuomo said at a press conference late Monday.
“They’re not coming back right now,” Cuomo added. “And you know what else they’re thinking? ‘If I stay there, I pay a lower income tax’ because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge.”
“Our population, 1 percent of the population pays 50 percent of the taxes,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo is fighting a “wealth tax” that’s set to be introduced in the state’s legislature with the backing of progressive Democrats because he’s concerned the coronavirus-related relocations will be made permanent, stripping both New York and New York City of much-needed tax money.
New York is set to face a $30 billion budget shortfall and Cuomo would prefer that the federal government mitigate that as part of the upcoming fourth coronavirus relief package, but Republicans say they are staunchly opposed to using federal tax dollars to alleviate budget issues that pre-date the coronavirus in states like New York and Illinois.
House Democrats did specifically include money to bail out struggling states in their bill, with no requirement that states prove a budgetary shortfall existed prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but that is unlikely to pass the Senate.
“They have to deliver. We have federal representatives, we have senators and we have congresspeople. We pay them to pass a piece of legislation that’s going to help New York. And it’s simple, if the federal legislature is not going to help New York, you know what I say to them? ‘Don’t pass it! It can’t pass without you! Don’t pass a piece of legislation that doesn’t restore New York’s funds,’” Cuomo insisted.
Cuomo also says he promised wealthy New Yorkers that he’ll personally make sure New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pays closer attention to the city’s rising crime rate: “We’re going to make progress helping the homeless. We’re going to clean up the graffiti. We’re going to fix crime.”
Bill de Blasio has not commented on whether he agrees.