Opinions

Even as the wealthy flee NY, progressives push to punish them more



A new city analysis shows that a huge chunk of high-income earners fled in 2020. Yet progressives refuse to hear the alarm bell: They’re pushing to “tax the rich” yet again instead.

The study by the city’s Independent Budget Office shows a 10% plunge in taxpayers who made over $750,000, and 6% of those with incomes between $150,000 and $750,000. These now-former New Yorkers will no longer pay hefty taxes to the city or state, leaving significantly less revenue to fund progressives’ pet projects.

Kathryn Wylde of the Partnership for New York City calls the trend “ominous.”

Clearly, many taxpayers fled to escape New York’s off-the-chart taxes. Yet the radicals who increasingly dominate local politics want to slam those who haven’t left even more: Last Monday, a group of advocates and elected officials launched a campaign for a ludicrous $40 billion in new taxes on the rich.

“Everybody always worries about whether billionaires and the wealthy are going to get up and leave from New York,” huffed Queens state Sen. Jessica Ramos. “I’m sick of seeing working-class New Yorkers have to leave.”

If lower-income workers are fleeing, it’s not for lack of poorly funded social programs; New York leads the nation in such spending. No, progressive policies that have allowed crime to skyrocket and schools to degrade would deserve much of the blame.

Meanwhile, the top 1% of taxpayers accounted for 45% of the city’s total income-tax liability in 2020; they’re the ones most sensitive to high taxes (the bottom 50% accounted for less than 4%).

Sure, other factors (like the weather and the lockdown) also pushed wealthy folks to split: As The Post has reported, Manhattanites who moved to sunny Palm Beach County, Fla., earned an average $728,351 each.

Some returned when the pandemic ended. But the mass exodus came before progressives in Albany spiked state taxes by $4 billion in 2021, punishing mostly top-income New Yorkers with the highest state and local tax rate in the nation. How many more high earners have left since, or will soon?

The loss of more tax revenue from top earners will only add to the massive budget gaps both the city and state face in coming years, which already threaten cuts to progressives’ beloved programs — and even to core services.

New York needs to stop driving away its tax base before there’s nothing left to bleed.



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