Wealthy New Yorkers Ditching the Big Apple for Tax-Friendly Florida

Cars are seen in a traffic jam in their evening commute on the 5th Avenue on February 27, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Affluent New Yorkers are leaving the city in favor of Florida’s more reasonably priced Miami-Dade County.

Reports state that more and more New Yorkers are finding the prospect of annual tax and cost-of-living savings between $20,000 and $120,000 by moving to Florida is an offer they cannot refuse.

Recent changes in the nation’s tax laws have convinced many financially stressed residents of the Big Apple to make the move south.

The New York Post reports:

The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law in late 2017 brought with it sweeping changes that limited deductions on state and local taxes — with taxpayers particularly hard hit in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which are among the states with the highest income and property taxes.

However, New York’s liberal policies have also caused residents to leave, which in turn causes a decline in population numbers.

“New York and Florida are similar in size, population, and racial profiles,” writes Kristin Tate, an opinion contributor for The Hill. “Each attracts plenty of immigrants. But years of mismanagement in New York has wreaked havoc on its residents.”

Tate continues:

At the end of the day, the price of staying in New York is nearly double that of a temperate place geared toward the lifestyle of older Americans. Plus, there is no loss in culture or cuisine in moving to Miami or West Palm Beach, with the amenities of modern life available for the thousands of residents who are making the jump from New York to Florida each year.

Tax collectors in New York can also make relocating difficult, causing taxpayers to think twice about their plans.

“Like other high-tax states, New York’s Department of Taxation and Finance will go to great lengths to keep wealthy residents on their tax lists,” Bloomberg reported in 2018.

“The states’ methods can be aggressive: Issuing subpoenas to pore through credit card statements, bank transactions or phone records to track a taxpayer’s location, and sending auditors to interview doormen or confirm doctors’ appointments,” the report concluded.

Barry Horowitz, a partner at the WithumSmith+Brown accounting firm, said in March that wealthy residents planning on leaving New York should expect to be audited.

“If you’re a high earner in New York and you move to Florida, your chances of a residency audit are 100 percent,” he said. “New York has always been aggressive. But it’s getting worse.”

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