ALBANY — As the cold weather moves in, more and more New York residents move out.

They used to call them snowbirds, but each year tens of thousands now stay long after the snow flies. There are two big reasons, weather and taxes, and one government watchdog group says its costing New York State.

Six years ago, self-made billionaire businessman Tom Golisano said goodbye to the Empire State, citing its high taxes. He claimed he would save $13,000 a day in taxes by moving to the Sunshine State, which has no income tax.

The Empire Center for Public Policy says 100,000 people leave NY each year, and 15% of them head to Florida. Their average income? $82,000. As pensioners, most don’t take that full salary with them, but if they did, E.J. McMahon says they would save $2,000-3,000 in state income tax to start.

Latham attorney Lou Pierro has counseled so many NY transplants in Florida he’s opened an office there. Interestingly, he cautions there’s a double whammy for NY as those transplants age out and the lure of sun and surf lose their appeal:  Many return to NY when they need doctors, hospital and longterm care, leaving New York to pick up the tab.

© 2015 WRGB

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The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

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