This Op-Ed by Nicole Malliotakis originally appeared in the Brooklyn Reporter
While many of us spend the winter months daydreaming about warmer days, others have made the permanent move elsewhere. Their reason for leaving New York, however, is not solely for sunnier weather.
A recent report issued by the IRS indicated that, in 2013, New York State lost more taxpayers than any other state. An inconceivable 115,000 residents packed their bags and headed for greener pastures, and with them went $5.65 billion in adjusted gross income, ultimately placing a greater financial burden on the rest of us.
These former residents were simply fed up with ever-increasing taxes and spending, and I can’t blame them. In an attempt to protect my friends and neighbors, I have long voiced my strong opposition to the reckless spending and inappropriate nickel-and-diming of New York residents and businesses.
It’s blatantly irresponsible for our state to continue imposing costly initiatives rather than providing necessary opportunities for residents to live comfortably and businesses to flourish. New Yorkers are not ATMs and should not be forced to carry the weight of our state’s misguided proposals and financial woes.
Since I entered the New York State Assembly in 2011, we’ve seen a $13 billion deficit turn into a $5 billion surplus. I have joined reform-minded colleagues in arguing that money should be returned to the taxpayer in the form of tax cuts, and we’ve won some fights such as lowering middle class income tax rates to their lowest in decades.
We’ve also fought and successfully reduced the corporate and manufacturing tax rates to attract and retain job creators. But much more can and needs to be done.
It is well past time that we recognize that the movement out of New York is a direct result of the state’s overall escalating taxes, additional fees and surcharges, and burdensome regulations. Year after year, we bleed jobs due to one of the least friendly business climates in the country.
I recently visited some of our state’s other major cities including Utica and Niagara Falls. Over the past few decades, these cities — once major economic hubs — have hemorrhaged businesses and manufacturers leading to a loss in population and tax base. In order to reverse that trend and keep New Yorkers in their homes, we have some serious work ahead.
The Assembly Republican Conference has consistently fought for lower taxes and to ease the financial burdens that have continued to overwhelm New Yorkers and drive out job creators, and we’ll continue to do so.
I look forward to getting back to work with my colleagues this January. Together, we can put New York State back on a sustainable, long-term track that will keep our businesses and residents here, and attract more taxpayers and job creators to our beautiful state.