Keep those fleeing residents coming to Florida, New York

In the 2000s, New York saw the largest population exodus of any state in America. Over 3.4 million residents and tens of thousands of businesses left the state, resulting in a net loss of 1.3 million people, and $46 billion in income.

new york bansAnd it’s gotten worse since 2010. New York is expected to be overtaken by Florida in population, dropping it to fourth place.

Why? Well, New Yorkers find Florida’s tax climate, friendliness to business and right-to-work laws as agreeable as its weather.

New York politicians have invented or jacked up every conceivable tax, putting the state behind a serious economic eight ball over the years. The state has a top progressive income tax bracket of nearly 9 percent, while New York City piles on an average of 3.5 percent in additional taxes, which new Mayor de Blasio wants to goose up even higher. Add to that a New York gift tax, a gasoline and cigarette tax, property taxes, and an estate tax that averages about 11 percent. Then heap on county and city sales taxes that range between 7 and 8.9 percent, substantially higher than Florida’s average sales tax.

Florida by contrast has no income tax, no estate tax and no inheritance tax. Local governments cannot impose any such levies.

The Tax Foundation provides a State Business Tax Climate Index that rates a state’s “tax-friendliness” toward business. New York is in the cellar — rated lowest of all states for 28 out of 29 years — while Florida is usually among the top five friendliest.

Then add the tax burdens of New York’s public unions, bloated state and city governments and political corruption, and compare them with Florida’s success at limiting union power and driving down labor costs. Lower taxes and regulated union power has fueled a much higher rate of economic growth here. Also, Florida’s housing market is far more favorable for buyers and sky-high rent payers than New York. Florida’s property taxes rank near the middle among other states.

You would think New York would learn its lesson. But no. The New York Post reported that this week, New York is “hiking its minimum wage to $8 an hour.” The state and its liberal Keynesian economists have failed to learn that when you tax something, you get less of it, and that applies to people, too. The more you tax people, the more they pack up and move away.

Florida’s successful policies and tax codes make the Sunshine State a haven for quality of life and thriving businesses, but the state Democratic Party wants to change them. All the laws that make Florida a great place for entrepreneurs and businesses, small and large, are criticized by most Democrats because they desperately need to confiscate other people’s money to fund their giveaway programs. The laws that Florida Democrats like are the gov scott welcome to Fla 1ones that plunged New York to dead last among states’ tax rankings.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has played no small role in working with the Legislature to thrust the state into a leading position for economic strength and job growth.

Thank you, New York, for sending new residents to us. Keep it up. Raise those taxes. Bow deeply to those unions. Kill off 16-ounce soft drinks. Ban salt in restaurants. We love it when your businesses and fed-up residents renounce their New York citizenship and say bye-bye for a fresh start in Florida.

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company.


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