How New York lost its population to increasing taxes and mounting debt

Last week, there was the pitiful scene of Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York begging President Trump to restore a tax provision which unfairly benefitted New Yorkers. It seems that many high-income New Yorkers have been moving their tax homes to Florida, undermining the New York tax base.

Those who live in New York City may be paying state and local income tax rates, in addition to the federal tax, of over 12 percent, giving some an overall tax burden of approximately 50 percent. Florida imposes no state and local income taxes in addition to the federal income tax — yet Florida is booming, with a budget surplus, while New York is mired in debt. Only 50 years ago, New York had four times the population of Florida, and now Florida is larger than New York.

New York was the great “Empire State” for well over a century. It was the richest state by far with the largest population. It had arguably the best natural seaport in the world. The Hudson River and Erie Canal system enabled New Yorkers to both access raw materials and export manufactured goods all the way to Minnesota inexpensively by water — and then to and from Europe and the rest of the world.