Overtaxing Causes New Yorkers to Flee

Monday, 27 Jan 2014 01:49 PM

By Ronn Torossian

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Even with all it has to offer, The Empire State has become the Must-Leave State. Despite the fact that New York City is America’s biggest regional economy, and New York is the financial and media capital of the United States, recent Census Bureau estimates show that 104,470 more people moved out of New York than moved into it during the 12 months ending July 1.
 
This was the largest net domestic migration loss sustained by any state, and it should not come as a surprise. (And it’s coming off a decade where more than 1.6 million New Yorkers moved out of state between 2000 and 2010.)  
 
Simply, New York individual income taxes and property taxes are tremendously high — and the trend of big government continues to rear its ugly head. Compound that with the high cost of living, brutally cold winters, and uber-liberal trends which emanate from elected officials, and the migration from New York will undoubtedly continue.
 
It’s painful for me to say this truthfully because I consider myself the quintessential New Yorker — I love New York with all my heart and soul. I was born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx, attended N.Y. public schools and universities, and raise my children in Manhattan. We play in Central Park, eat at the best restaurants, and enjoy museums and culture. This is a great city.
 
Despite all it has to offer, I’d tell anyone not to come live here. Between taxes and expenses, New York is a damn hard place to live. Government seeks to bleed taxpayers to death (and even after they die they get hit with absurdly high death taxes.)
 
For anyone in small-town America reading this who desires to come to New York, note that New York ranks at the very bottom of the “Small Business Survival Index.” The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan Washington, D.C., tax research group ranked New York as the worst place in the nation for establishing a business based on taxes. Come, stay here often, and leave to avoid taxes.
 
State tax is nearly 9 percent, and there is an absurd MTA Payroll Tax, which punishes employers and commercial rent tax, which penalizes businesses as they grow. There is a highly bureaucratic regulatory system, and 401ks and IRAs are taxed as income. The tax system is worse than perhaps any other state.
 
And if you thought to come to New York City, realize that we now have Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is determined to raise income taxes on anyone who is successful. In America’s largest economic capital today, success is penalized. As CEO of 5WPR, I pay more than 55 percent taxes. (The newest Yankee, Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, will pay nearly $90 million of the $155 million he earns in taxes, with a 56.1% tax rate). 
 
Indeed, one can look forward to oppressive taxes if they succeed here. I personally know four multimillionaires who moved out of New York in the last six months — and I don’t have a single meeting with my accountant where he doesn’t advise me to consider moving to Connecticut.
 
While New York remains a global hub for finance, entertainment, and so many industries, I can’t blame the hundreds of thousands who leave. While New York always will have so much going for it, local government must better recognize that people (and corporations) can vote with their feet and will continue leaving New York en masse until the tax situation improves.
 
Owning a PR Firm, I have to be in New York as the media capital is here and I couldn’t run my business elsewhere. But if I could leave, I surely would. As much as I’d miss the Yankees and the Knicks, Soho, and the hustle and bustle of New York, I wouldn’t miss the taxes, big government, or bureaucracy.
 
Simply, New York is very expensive. There will continue to be mass migration from New York as long as government continues to not recognize that New Yorkers work hard to better their families — not to pay huge taxes.
 
Ronn Torossian is one of America’s foremost Public Relations executives as founder/CEO of 5WPR, a leading independent PR Agency. The firm was honored as PR Firm of the Year by The American Business Awards, and has been named to the Inc. 500 List. Torossian is author of the best-selling "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations." For more of Ronn Torossian's reports, Go Here Now.
 
 

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