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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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February 03, 2023

     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.  More people will leave, and NYC will have even more financial disparity.

     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%.)  

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