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Exodus From New York To Florida Ramped Up Even After COVID Lockdowns Ended
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis listens to a speaker at a press conference at Club in Ocala, where he signed into law more than $1.2 billion in tax relief for Floridians, the largest tax relief package in Florida
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York enacted some of the most restrictive COVID-19 lockdowns in the entire nation. As a result, citizens began jumping ship for Florida — and the exodus is by no means slowing down.

“A total of 21,546 New Yorkers swapped their driver’s licenses for the Sunshine State version during the first four months of this year — a 12% increase from the same period in 2021,” according to The New York Post. “The 2022 totals are 55% higher than the first four months of the last pre-pandemic year of 2019.”

In contrast to New York’s COVID-19 policies, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) kept his state’s economy open for business.

“His approach works,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wrote in a description of DeSantis upon his selection for Time’s 100 Most Influential People list. “It’s one that has allowed Florida to emerge from the pandemic as a national model of personal freedom, economic growth, environmental protection, and education excellence.”

Meanwhile, the issues facing New York — especially New York City — are manifold.

For one, the tax burden in the Big Apple is among the largest in the nation. New York City imposes a 3.9% tax on top income-earners, in addition to New York state’s 10.9% rate and the federal government’s 37% rate. As a result, many investment bankers are flooding recruiters’ offices with requests for transfers to Florida.

“The JP Morgan recruiter from Florida just told me he’s getting so much demand from employees in the northeast to move to Florida they’re not even considering external candidates for those jobs,” one financial services executive told Fox Business.

Undoubtedly noticing the trend, Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon warned at a conference last year that New York City may cease to be a global financial hub if it does not end the policies causing its decline. “New York has to be aware that there are good choices, and it’s got to keep itself attractive,” Solomon said — especially with relation to “taxes” and “cost of living.”

With respect to crime, monthly felony assaults in the city had risen year-over-year by 15% at the end of 2021, while murder had increased by 42% over a two-year period. Bank of America told their New York City employees to “dress down” during their commutes to diminish the risk of assault.

Indeed, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, admitted earlier this year that he does not feel safe taking the subway. “On day one, I took the subway system, I felt unsafe. I saw homeless everywhere,” he recounted. “People were yelling on the trains. There was a feeling of disorder. So as we deal with the crime problem, we also have to deal with the fact people feel unsafe.”

Last month, a suspect shot and injured 23 people on a subway train — prompting New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) to call for an end to the “surge in crime.”

“We say no more. No more mass shootings. No more disrupting lives. No more creating heartbreak for people just trying to live their lives as normal New Yorkers,” she said. “And we are sick and tired of reading headlines about crime, whether they’re mass shootings, or the loss of a teenage girl, or a 13-year-old. It has to stop.”

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