Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When Taxes Chase People Away

A new study has found that 1.1 million New Yorkers are now former New Yorkers as they have moved away from New York State since 2000. That's the largest such migration in the nation. 1 in 7 City residents moved away in that time.

More alarming, those people who have immigrated to the city are making nearly $20,000 less than the people they're replacing.

That's a huge drag on tax revenues, and further compromises the fiscal stability of the state.
Overall, the ex-New Yorkers earn about 13 percent more than those who moved into the state, the study found.

And it should be no surprise that the city -- and Manhattan in particular -- suffered the biggest loss in terms of taxable income.

The average Manhattan taxpayer who left the state earned $93,264 a year. The average newcomer to Manhattan earned only $72,726.

That's a difference of $20,538, the highest for any county in the state. Staten Island was second, with a $20,066 difference.

It all adds up to staggering loss in taxable income. During 2006-2007, the "migration flow" out of New York to other states amounted to a loss of $4.3 billion.

The study used annual US Census reports, which showed which states had increased population, combined with Internal Revenue Service data, which show which states, cities and counties had lost people.

While New York City and the state were the losers, the Sunshine and Garden States were winners. more than 250,000 New Yorkers who lived in and around the city fled to Florida. Another 172,000 city taxpayers ended up in New Jersey.
New Jersey has largely benefited because many people have given up trying to live in New York City because of the expense, but their jobs tie them to the City. That is my situation as well.

One way to stem the flight to cheaper (even relatively cheaper) locales is to reduce the crushing tax burden. Housing costs also play a role, and allowing the construction of more housing is a grave concern to reduce the cost of housing. Programs that artificially reduce the cost of housing through subsidies does not add units of housing; it merely inflates the cost of housing elsewhere in the City as property managers seek to recoup their profits elsewhere.

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