New York loses $19.5 billion in population exodus, IRS confirms

New Jersey and Florida were the biggest beneficiaries of New York’s exodus.

Updated: May 28, 2022 - 10:53pm

The Internal Revenue Service this week released more troubling data for New York, with the federal agency showing more high-earning taxpayers leaving the state.

Tracking returns filed in 2019 and 2020 showed that 479,826 people left New York for another state or country in those years. Over the same timeframe, just 231,439 people moved to the state. That means the state suffered a net loss of 248,387 residents.

And, of course, those people took their money with them. The IRS figures show the moves generated an economic exodus of more than $19.5 billion.

New Jersey and Florida were the biggest beneficiaries. More than 84,500 people moved from New York to New Jersey and took $5.3 billion. By contrast, only 37,127 New Jersey residents moved to New York and brought $2.2 billion in income.

The numbers were even starker between New York and Florida. Over the two years, 71,845 New Yorkers flocked to the Sunshine States and took $6.4 billion. Meanwhile, 26,902 former Floridians moved up north. Those individuals had a combined income of $1.2 billion.

Wirepoints, in its analysis, noted New York suffered the worst net loss of income of any state, with the $19.5 billion representing a 2.5 percent decline in adjusted gross income. The independent nonprofit research firm said New York lost $1 trillion in income through population losses since the beginning of the century.

“The problem with chronic outflows, like in the case of New York, is that one year’s losses don’t only affect the tax base the year they leave, but they also hurt all subsequent years,” Wirepoints noted. “The losses pile up on top of each other, year after year.”

The news comes a week after the U.S. Census Bureau reported that it likely overcounted New York’s population in the 2020 Census by more than 625,000 people, and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli reported the state lost more than 140,000 part-time taxpayers between 2015 and 2019.

As the state emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, an emergency that likely hastened more people to move, Democrats in Albany have pushed the federal government to fix the so-called “SALT cap.” The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 put a $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions taxpayers may claim on their federal tax returns. Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided against hearing a challenge to that provision.

Republicans in the state have railed against Democratic leadership in the state Legislature and the executive chamber for tax-and-spend practices and passing laws that make residents less safe.

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