Wealthy Americans have fled New York City amid the coronavirus pandemic and have likely realized maybe those exorbitant taxes they’re paying in the Big Apple aren’t worth it. Most haven’t returned and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has certainly taken notice given the state’s revenue shortfall. In fact, he’s begging them to come back.
“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!’” the governor said Monday.
“They’re not coming back right now. And you know what else they’re thinking? ‘If I stay there, I’ll pay a lower income tax,’ because they don’t pay the New York City surcharge,” he added.
“Our population, one percent of the population [of NYC] pays 50 percent of the taxes,” he said. “And they’re the most mobile people on the globe.”
Cuomo has pushed back on efforts to raise taxes on the wealthy to assist with the growing coronavirus-related fiscal crisis, knowing if that happens the rich will be even less likely to return to the city.
The plea comes amid dimming hopes that the federal government’s next COVID-19 relief package will contain any additional aid for struggling state and local governments.
If additional dollars don’t come to New York on top of waning revenue streams, Cuomo and other state officials have said the hit could translate to 20 percent cuts to health, education and local governments’ annual budget.
Meanwhile, Cuomo has said he’s not keen on raising taxes for the wealthy, adding it wouldn’t be enough to cover the state’s growing deficit — pegged at around $30 billion over the next two years.
But he’s at odds with leaders in the state Legislature — particularly state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Westchester) and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-The Bronx), who last week diverged from Cuomo, arguing that raising taxes on New York’s wealthiest is something they would consider and support. (NY Post)
There's also another aspect of returning to New York City residents will be considering: rising crime, which comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio cut the NYPD's budget by $1 billion for the next fiscal year.