According to a recent study, New Yorkers left the state in droves in 2014, in favor of states with lower taxes. About 126,000 tax filers left New York for other places within the U.S. — a rate higher than those who moved from any other state. New York also lost the most “high earners,” or those who had incomes amounting to more than $200,000 a year.
Although New York State’s population is on the rise partially because of immigration, a huge number of residents are choosing to leave as a result of high property taxes, lack of business opportunities, and an increase in non-affordable housing.
Some have questioned the report’s numbers, citing a Stanford University study that found that high state taxes would not incite those who earned at least $1 million a year to move. But although their taxes are higher, those who earn upwards of a million dollars every year may not be as affected by the high taxes as those who earn less.
Governor Cuomo’s spokesman, Richard Azzopardi, was quick to point out that there are just as many reasons for people to come to New York State, including the record number of jobs within the private sector, the below-national-average unemployment rate, and lower taxes for corporations and the middle class.
Although 57% of adults have not lived outside their current home state in the U.S., high taxes do seem to play a part in why many residents choose to move. Indeed, Illinois was recently found to have the highest property taxes in the nation, and the same tax payer study found that Illinois lost the second-highest number of people to other states. California placed third in the study.
The cost of living in New York State is 29% higher than the National Average. Analysts have studied 15 separate locations in New York for their relative affordability levels. While Nassau-Suffolk rates as the most expensive location, the Buffalo-Niagara Falls region comes in at the most affordable. With the cost of living seemingly rising, New York State may yet lose more residents in the years to come.