New Yorkers Leave Like East Germans Fled Communism

Big Government: New York thinks of itself as the place to be, but its high taxes have made it a place to flee. Those who have escaped the Empire State tax man could fill a major city.

From 1949 to 1961, more than 2.6 million of East Germany’s 17 million population escaped to West Berlin or West Germany, a hemorrhage of humanity that led the Communists to construct the infamous Berlin Wall in 1961.

The state of New York, with about 19.5 million people, has no known plans to erect concrete barriers or barbed wire fences. But from 2000 to 2010 it suffered an exodus of some 3.4 million New Yorkers — nearly a million more people than in Germany’s post-war experience and more than that of any other state. 

from Investors Business Daily Editorials http://news.investors.com/ibdeditorials.aspx

And the outflow hasn’t stopped. The income loss for the state is $45.6 billion, the Tax Foundation says.

Granted, it’s not just one-way traffic. New York has plenty of immigration from abroad; its more than 4 million foreign-born residents give it the second-biggest immigrant population in America.

So net outward migration is about 1.3 million.

Most New York refugees are in sunny, zero-income-tax Florida. The Sunshine State, along with its rays, offer big relief from New York’s state tax on income, which starts at almost 6.5% and reaches nearly 9% for the overly successful.

On top of that are high sales taxes that approach 9% in New York City, but 7% in some other areas.

New Yorkers who leave an estate of more than $1 million to their loved ones get hit with a state death tax reaching 16%, bringing billions into state coffers.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo admits that “working families can’t afford to pay the ever-increasing tax burden … and this state has no future if it is going to be the tax capital of the nation.”

But like a long line of New York politicians from both parties, what he dangles is relief from the state’s high property taxes, which are tied to state government spending mandates on localities — a longtime shell game showing no real signs of ending.

Cuomo’s predecessor, Eliot Spitzer (aka the Emperor’s Club escort agency’s Client No. 9), actually attained the governorship as a tax crusader of sorts, suing H&R Block for $250 million on fraud charges as state attorney general while simultaneously seeking the governor’s mansion.

But Spitzer didn’t, and Cuomo hasn’t, threatened New York’s status as “tax capital of the nation” with any substantive reform that changes the status quo.

Like those formerly enslaved behind the Iron Curtain, New Yorkers’ choice is a wrenching one: either escape by leaving home, or spend years waiting for a liberator to arrive.