Tags: golisano | new | york | florida

N.Y. Governor Causes Billionaire to Flee

Wednesday, 20 May 2009 03:49 PM

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New York billionaire Tom Golisano has had it with the expensive Empire State -- so he's packing up and moving to Florida.

In a commentary published in the New York Post, the owner of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres said he will save $5 million a year in taxes by migrating south. Florida has no state income tax.

"Decades of out-of-control budgets, spending hikes and relentless borrowing have made New York simply too expensive," Golisano wrote.

Golisano, who has run unsuccessfully three times to be New York's governor, also criticized Gov. David Paterson in an interview with the Post, saying he has shown a "lack of leadership" in the fight against higher taxes. New York legislators recently increased taxes by $8 billion and boosted spending by 9 percent, and added a new "millionaire's tax" on residents earning more than $500,000 a year.

According to Golisano, his daily rate for personal income tax in New York is $13,800 a day.

Golisano said he might have changed his mind about a Florida move if Paterson "had just said, 'No, we're not going to do this,' that the budget increase is going to be 2 percent or 1 percent or it's going to stay the same.

"I would have had a different attitude. I've been paying a lot of money in state income taxes, and I've been happy to do it, but when this last thing happened, this 50 percent increase in the tax rate, it was just too much. ... Nobody wants to leave New York. Just economically, it makes so much sense to leave it, and that's because of the irresponsible government we've had."

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