Albany, NY — Governor Hochul’s executive budget risks accelerating the trend of high-earning New Yorkers fleeing the state. Thats according to Empire Center’s director of research, Peter Warren, who submitted testimony to the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee for today’s hearing.

Hochul’s budget retains personal income tax hikes enacted last April, during a year in which more states cut taxes than at any time in the past three decades. In New York City, those rate hikes resulted in the highest combined state and local tax rate in the nation. And they turned out to be unnecessary to close state budget gaps feared to arise due to the pandemic. But instead of revisiting the hikes, the Governor’s executive budget proposal uses the revenue surge they produced to increase spending in the record $216 billion budget plan.

Stream the full budget hearing here.

“New York lost one and a half million residents to outmigration in the past decade, a period during which its share of the nation’s millionaires has fallen. It’s too early to assess the impact of the dramatic rate hikes enacted less than a year ago, but the more the state squeezes its top earners, the more likely they are to leave permanently, creating the hardest of landings for a state that relies on them to finance a large and ever-expanding public sector,” said Warren in his submitted testimony. “New Yorkers need tax rates that are reasonable, reliable, and predictable. That’s the best way to allow people to plan for the future and make informed decisions in the best interests of themselves and their families. In the long run, it’s the best hope for the state.”

Warren’s submitted comments follow previous Empire Center testimony on environmental and health care policies in the governor’s budget. Neither Warren nor Bill Hammond, Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, were invited to testify before the legislature in person. In previous years, organizations like the Empire Center were invited to send multiple experts to share testimony with legislators.

The full submitted testimony can be read here.

The Empire Center, based in Albany, is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan think tank dedicated to promoting policies that can make New York a better place to live, work and raise a family.

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