New York state auditors are looking to stick wealthy residents fleeing the state’s high taxes with a hefty bill to make up for a $2.3 billion budget deficit.
New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, one of President Trump’s most vocal critics, blamed the Trump administration and a GOP lawmaker- backed tax reform plan reducing state and local income tax deductions for New Yorkers fleeing the state.
“This is the flip side. Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich,” Cuomo announced in February. “We did. Now, God forbid, the rich leave.”
Now, the New York Democrat is looking for payback from these high-roller residents looking to find refuge in low states by sending auditors to collect money from these nonresidents.
State auditors have used highly sophisticated tools to track dodgers, monitoring everything from social media accounts to dental records.
CNBC reported that between 2010 and 2017, the state carried out approximately 3,000 of these audits. These audits brought in around $1 billion in state money, with auditors collecting an average of $144,270 for each audit between 2015 and 2017, according to CNBC.
It is unclear how many of New York’s top taxpayers fled the state, but low-tax states like Texas and Florida gained residents.
“If you’re a high earner in New York and you move to Florida, your chances of a residency audit are 100 percent,” Barry Horowitz, a partner at the WithumSmith+Brown accounting firm, told CNBC. “New York has always been aggressive. But it’s getting worse.”
Some states, like Florida, are particularly attractive to residents fleeing high taxes because the state does not impose an income tax on its residents.
Even Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) mother, Blanca, boasted about fleeing New York to live in Florida to take advantage of the state’s lower taxes.
“I was paying $10,000 a year in real estate taxes up north,” Blanca Ocasio-Cortez told the Daily Mail on Monday. “I’m paying $600 a year in Florida. It’s stress-free down here.”