Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Hey, Rupert Murdoch: You own two newspapers here; one of them you've owned for about thirty years. You own two TV stations here. Your "news" channel is headquartered here.

You'd think your reporters would learn that taxes are the same in the entire city -- which includes four other boroughs besides Manhattan.

But no -- here's a right-wing propaganda piece your New York Post ran yesterday:

New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in alarming numbers -- and costing a fortune in lost tax dollars, a new study shows.

More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.

The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City -- meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out....

Why all the moving vans?

The center, part of the conservative Manhattan Institute, blames the state's high cost of living and high taxes....

How do we know this is a crock? Oh, maybe from this:

...The study also revealed surprising details about how city residents moved from borough to borough.

Manhattan lost 64,480 taxpayers, and more than half -- 34,383 -- went to The Bronx.

Brooklyn lost 68,951 taxpayers -- including 43,688 who went to Staten Island....

Right -- even though taxes in those boroughs are identical. Housing costs aren't, however. Gee, you think maybe there could be some reason other than taxes for people to flee to the outer boroughs? And that maybe, just maybe, the same is true for people leaving the state altogether? You think maybe it's just easier, and cheaper, to live somewhere else for a lot of reasons, like being able to buy a house for possibly a fifth of the cost of a sublet of a storage closet here?

Or do you think maybe people are just leaving New York because that's what people always do, and have done since forever? Y'know -- young people come here to make it, get frustrated, go to grad school somewhere else. Or they fall in love, get hitched, have kids, move to Jersey. Or lifelong residents decamp to Florida after they retire. And gosh -- guess what two states have the highest number of ex-New Yorkers?

While New York City and the state were the losers, the Sunshine and Garden States were winners. more than 250,000 New Yorkers who lived in and around the city fled to Florida. Another 172,000 city taxpayers ended up in New Jersey.

Yup -- even though another Murdoch story on the same study, this one in today's Wall Street Journal, says that

highly taxed and economically lackluster states were most likely to end up in residents' rear view mirrors. According to the annual study by United Van Lines, states like New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Illinois have been big losers in recent years.

So people are fleeing high-tax New York for high-tax New Jersey -- because of the taxes! Yup, makes sense to me.

Oh, and the Post story says:

The peak loss of New Yorkers was in 2005, when nearly 250,000 residents left the state. But last year, only 126,000 left, the lowest figure over the eight-year period.

So, did taxes peak in 2005? No.

Did they plummet in 2008? No.

So where's the cause and effect?

What else? Oh, Choire Sicha of the Awl actually read the study and found that

In real fact, the population of New York state grew 2.7% from 2000 to 2008....

So high state taxes didn't drive people out of the state?

Rupert, your explanation?

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