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Quality of life plummets, taxes rocket — and New York City faces doom: Goodwin


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NY Post

“No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.”

That’s how Gideon Tucker put it back in 1866, a New Yorker who knew Albany as a former legislator, secretary of state and judge.

His wisdom, as demonstrated repeatedly over the ages, is timeless.

Yet there is something different, and especially troubling, about this time. The possibility of permanent decline and the ultimate destruction of the New York we know is unmatched in modern memory.

With Republicans reduced to hecklers, Albany Democrats, oblivious or reckless or both, are marching toward the cliff in an Alfred E. Neuman, What, Me Worry? Way. The rising chorus of “Stop!” goes unheeded.:snip:

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They Came, They Saw, They Taxed

New York’s progressive legislators want to make the nation’s heaviest tax burden heavier still.

Steven Malanga

April 6, 2021

With its new package of whopping tax increases, New York State’s Democratic-controlled legislature has crossed over a metaphorical fiscal Rubicon. Over the last century, Albany has legislated its way to the nation’s highest tax burden largely during times when governors and legislators pleaded fiscal emergencies as their rationale for steadily higher taxes. Now, however, the legislature’s Democratic caucus, which back in November captured super-majority control over Albany, is raising taxes not because it claims it needs to but simply because it can. Given that the pandemic has increased the already-massive disincentives for doing business and living in New York, this latest round of increases, designed to funnel another $4.3 billion out of the state’s private sector and into government, will test the progressive notion that taxes don’t influence people’s decisions on where to live or do business.

(Snip)

The only good news, if one can call it that, is that the original legislative proposal would have raised taxes by even more—$7 billion. Beyond hiking the income tax and the corporate tax, which is what the legislature has settled for, the original proposal would have also increased the inheritance tax, established a new tax on New York City “mansions,” and imposed a higher capital gains tax. The bad news is that all these taxes are on the table the next time the legislature wants to boost levies, which almost certainly will be next year.

(Snip)

New York’s new, bigger tax bite comes at a time when the state’s main economic engine, New York City, faces enormous challenges retaining businesses and workers in a post-pandemic economy. New York City’s office vacancy rate has soared to 15 percent, and surveys show that employers of office firms, which form the backbone of Manhattan’s economy, may allow anywhere from 10 percent to a quarter of their employees to work remotely even after Covid lockdowns end. That would make the recovery of the city’s economy, which has lost half a million private-sector jobs (or 13 percent of its pre-pandemic total), exceedingly difficult. On top of that, city residents—battered by the pandemic, growing social unrest, and high taxes—are increasingly unsettled about the city. A Manhattan Institute survey last summer found that 40 percent of residents were considering leaving New York. A majority said that they didn’t think the taxes they paid were worth the services they received. It’s unlikely that yet another tax increase will change those sentiments.

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