RUSH: Another New Yorker is going to leave the state because of high taxes. This is from the Buffalo News: ‘Ending any speculation about another possible run for governor, Rochester businessman and Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano said Thursday he will be moving his legal residence to Florida to escape New York state taxes. Golisano told a gathering of Rochester business executives that he will remain as owner of the Buffalo hockey team, but he is fleeing the Empire State to avoid paying $13,000 a day in state income taxes.’ Mr. Golisano — now, remember when I announced I was leaving, the governor of New York in response to reporter’s question said, ‘If I’d have known that Limbaugh would leave, I would have raised taxes even sooner.’ Mr. Golisano, a word of advice. You better sell the Sabres. If you hold onto an asset in New York, you are going to be hounded and harassed. I’ve told you I’m in the middle of a New York State audit for the last three years. I’ve been audited every year in New York since I moved out. The last three years, ’05, ’06, ’07, and I just got another request for documents that is the most outrageous form of harassment. I’ve already proved to them 14 different ways where I have been in this country every day for the last three years, 14 different ways. It’s just nothing more than pure political harassment now. And Mr. Golisano, I’m telling you that you’re going to get the same.
I’m convinced that they’ve got a division in Albany that focuses exclusively on people who leave the state and move to states with no income. He’s paying $13,000 a day. I wish my bill was that cheap, the days that I worked there. I do not live there! So Mr. Golisano, you need to call me before you make this move, because had I known what I know now when I did it, I would have done things a little differently. I even, for the first three years I left New York, I wrote ’em nice letters: ‘I’m sorry, I am not filing a return this year because I have moved,’ and I didn’t hear from them for five years. It was 2002 and they audited 1997 to 2002. They were demanding X gazillions worth of dollars, penalties and interest for nonpayment of taxes. It went so far as they wanted to visit both of my residences to see which one was actually the more lived in. Nothing that’s happening to me hasn’t happened to anybody else. Well, I don’t know. I know people that get federally audited every year, a lot of people claim a home office. I don’t even do that, though I could. It’s just amazing. The Wall Street Journal has a column today by Arthur Laffer and Stephen Moore that’s evidence of how people, businesses all over the country, locate away from, they move away from high-tax locations, cities and states, to conduct business because it makes no financial sense to do so, and it becomes harassment and it becomes punitive.
RUSH: I mentioned a moment ago this piece in the Wall Street Journal. It’s by Art Laffer and Stephen Moore. This is an offshoot here of a piece in the Buffalo News. Thomas Golisano is leaving New York to escape income taxes, state income taxes.
He says he’s paying $13,000 a day in state income taxes in New York. So he’s leaving. I told him to call me before you do because there are some steps you have to take if you’re going to do this ’cause they’re going to harass you, Mr. Golisano. They’re going to find you, they’re going to harass you, and they’re going to pretend that you are lying to them, that you’re still a resident, no matter where you live. And it’s a no-win. If you hold onto an asset there like a house, if you hold onto the Buffalo Sabres — which he owns — (gagging) — as far as they’re concerned, you’re just leaving to avoid taxes, you’re not moving. So Art Laffer and Stephen Moore with a piece in the Wall Street Journal today:
‘Soak the Rich, Lose the Rich — With states facing nearly $100 billion in combined budget deficits this year, we’re seeing more governors than ever proposing the Barack Obama solution to balancing the budget: Soak the rich. Lawmakers in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Oregon want to raise income tax rates on the top 1% or 2% or 5% of their citizens. New Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn wants a 50% increase in the income tax rate on the wealthy because this is the ‘fair’ way [he says] to close his state’s gaping deficit. Mr. Quinn and other tax-raising governors have been emboldened by recent studies by left-wing groups like the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities that suggest that ‘tax increases, particularly tax increases on higher-income families, may be the best available option.’
‘A recent letter to New York Gov. David Paterson signed by 100 economists advises the Empire State to ‘raise tax rates for high income families right away.’ Here’s the problem for states that want to pry more money out of the wallets of rich people. It never works because people, investment capital and businesses are mobile: They can leave tax-unfriendly states and move to tax-friendly states. And the evidence that we discovered in our new study for the American Legislative Exchange Council, ‘Rich States, Poor States,’ published in March, shows that Americans are more sensitive to high taxes than ever before.
‘The tax differential between low-tax and high-tax states is widening, meaning that a relocation from high-tax California or Ohio, to no-income tax Texas or Tennessee, is all the more financially profitable both in terms of lower tax bills and more job opportunities,’ and these guys, Steve Moore and Art Laffer, they updated some research from Richard Vedder of Ohio University, we found that from 1998 to 2007, and get this statistic here, folks. ‘[F]rom 1998 to 2007, more than 1,100 people every day including Sundays and holidays moved from the nine highest income-tax states such as California, New Jersey, New York and Ohio and relocated mostly to the nine tax-haven states with no income tax, including Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire and Texas.
‘We also found that over these same years the no-income tax states created 89% more jobs and had 32% faster personal income growth than their high-tax counterparts. Did the greater prosperity in low-tax states happen by chance? Is it coincidence that the two highest tax-rate states in the nation, California and New York, have the biggest fiscal holes to repair? No. Dozens of academic studies — old and new — have found clear and irrefutable statistical evidence that high state and local taxes repel jobs and businesses,’ and the piece goes on and on and on with detail and fact and research. ‘We believe there are three unintended consequences from states raising tax rates on the rich. First, some rich residents sell their homes and leave the state; second, those who stay in the state report less taxable income on their tax returns; and third, some rich people choose not to locate in a high-tax state’ at all. The evidence is clear — and look, we know this. I mean, history has told us this. The federal government, the states, they raise taxes, and they reduce the revenue take. It’s axiomatic. The more you tax an activity, the less that activity takes place — in a free market, in a free society.