New York residents are leaving the Empire State in record numbers over its high tax rates.
"New York has been leading the nation in domestic migration for decades," Wendell Cox, the co-author of a study on New Yorkers leaving for other states, told The Albany Times Union.
"The property taxes are bad, but they are on top of an even worse situation in terms of affordability."
According to a study by Cox and Joel Kotkin, published on NewGeography.com, 126,000 taxpayers left New York in 2014 for other states.
The figure was the highest of any other state in the nation.
In addition, New York had the most "high earners" — those making more $200,000 a year — leaving than any other U.S. state, according to the study.
Next was Illinois, which lost 82,000 taxpayers in 2014, according to the authors.
Kotkin is NewGeography.com's executive editor. Cox is an urban planner and principal of Demographia, an international public policy and demographics firm based near St. Louis.
New York's population is still growing, The New York Post reports, in part because of immigration.
However, many residents are heading to other states because of high property taxes, few business opportunities and unaffordable housing.
The study drew attacks on several fronts, including from Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.
He told the Times Union that New York's population had actually grown between 2010 and 2014 — hitting nearly 19.7 million that year.
Deutsch also noted a Stanford University study found New Yorkers earning at least $1 million annually were likely to remain in the state. In addition, Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also took exception to the study. He pointed to the state's tax reforms and growth in private-sector jobs.
"The fact is that under this administration," he told the Times Union, "New York has a record number of private-sector jobs, an unemployment number below the national average, and passed reforms that led to the lowest middle class taxes in 70 years, the lowest corporate tax rates since 1968 and the lowest manufacturing tax rate since 1917 and a property tax cap."
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