If you’re a politician the easiest way to grow “revenue” is to treat your successful residents with respect—respect for their money that is. And yet time and time again politicians do the exact opposite. Is it any wonder the most successful New Yorkers spend at least half the year in Florida? The Wall Street Journal editorial board chides Governor Andrew Cuomo for his tone deaf assessment of why people are fleeing the Empire State. They write:
Andrew Cuomo is on a roll. After a deft rebuttal of President Trump last month—America “was never that great”—the New York Governor has now finessed an answer to the problem of outmigration, which has plagued his state and other liberal bastions: cold weather.
“People will make demographic choices about where they want to live. Some of them are climate-based,” Mr. Cuomo told the Business Council of New York State on Tuesday. “If someone wants to move to Florida because they want to move to Florida, God bless them.”
While the 190,000 people who left New York in 2017 are no doubt grateful for the Governor’s blessing, they might differ on the reason for leaving. Winters can be crushing in New York, but they’ve got nothing on tax season.
The Tax Foundation this week released its 2019 State Business Climate Tax Index, and you don’t need Mr. Cuomo to know which way the wind blows: New York has the third most onerous tax burden, ranking 48th among the 50 states on individual income taxes and 47th on property taxes.
The deflating effect of a New York tax bill continues to take a toll on population growth, which slowed in July 2017 to less than 0.1% year-over-year, according to the Census Bureau, compared to a national average of 0.7%. A 2017 study by the Empire Center for Public Policy found that more than one million people left New York for other states from 2010-2017, the second-largest population decline from migration to other states after Alaska. But Anchorage has a better weather excuse.
Some 56,000 New York residents moved to Pennsylvania on net between 2011 and 2016. Did they move for the Pittsburgh beaches or an income tax rate less than half of New York’s? Mr. Cuomo is a big believer in climate change, but he refuses to change the tax and business climate in New York.
Read more here.