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Florida, the Unequaled Destination For Wealth Movement -- and It Will Only Get Better

August 14, 2019 - 6:00am
Andrew Cuomo and Ron DeSantis
Andrew Cuomo and Ron DeSantis

The governors of New York and Florida got into a bit of a squabble a few months ago. Andrew Cuomo complained, in amusing fashion, that Florida was “stealing” residents away from his state. The larger complaint, of course -- Cuomo's actual concern -- was that billions of dollars are FLEEING his state. 

To which newly installed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had a pithy retort: “I'm not stealing anybody -- you are driving people away."

Since that ludicrous declaration from New York’s leader, the evidence is coming in to show the problem may be even larger than Cuomo states -- and about to get worse. A new study issued by Lending Tree, the online loan marketplace that measures the migration of residents between states, shows Florida is the overwhelming choice for relocation, outpacing the other 49 of these United States. 

More than mere retirement reasons, there is a growing number of wealthy citizens seeking the tax haven that the Sunshine State has become.

Florida not only tops the list of new destinations, it is the runaway leader. As measured by Lending Tree, the most recent year of study was 2016, and that year showed Florida enjoying a beneficial net increase of $17.7 billion in Adjusted Gross Income. The next states on the list -- Texas and South Carolina -- saw an increase of $2.25 billion. The windfall was so large here that the next 19 states on the list, combined, equaled the total of Florida.

In addition, the Foundation For Economic Freedom measured the state tax rates against those moving. Of the 25 highest-tax states, 24 of them had net out-migration in 2016. “One of the states that gained from migration was Florida, where 145 households moved in for every 100 that left,” said one spokesman.

Meanwhile, the state of New York seeks to impose more taxes, as it sees a persistent drop in revenue. The state is in debt, and watching as its wealthy residents and business owners -- the highest tax-payers -- flee. In this same study, Cuomo’s state experienced a loss of $8.8 billion. Florida, on the other hand, is flush. DeSantis noted the state currently boasts a $1.4 BILLION surplus. 

Another example of this trend is being seen in the financial services sector. Many of these institutions have been running away from their traditional Northeast home base, escaping the mounting tax rates being imposed. In just the past three years, 70 financial service companies have relocated to the Palm Beach area, for instance, with still more working to come in. And this is all bound only to improve.

As these numbers are stark (and impressive, from our perspective), the fact that these are measured on 2016 IRS findings means that this result is only going to broaden. In the following years the Trump tax plan has made these high-tax states even less desirable. While federal rates were cut for most, one thing that made an impact was placing a ceiling on the amount of state and local taxes that could be deducted. This meant that people living in areas like New York and California -- some of which pay municipal income taxes as well as a state tax -- actually saw their tax burden increase.

This will surely lead to us finding even greater numbers of tax migrations taking place, and greater windfalls for the state. All of this is something to consider when you realize how close we came to seeing these incentives ripped away, had Andrew Gillum or one of the other fiscally unfriendly Democratic candidates been elected governor. 

Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.


If Florida has a 1.4 billion dollar surplus, why do we rank 46th in teacher pay, and have 3,500 unfilled teacher jobs? I thought education was supposed to be important.

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Yes yes Hillary, we're all glad that you've found employment. Now move along.

These rich old bastards come here from other parts of the States, and they always bring bring their racist and conservative ideals with them. As a result, our state's natural resources are being plundered while they drink, golf, and throw money at every GOP huckster who promises to slash their tax rate even further.

These rich old bastards come here from other parts of the States, and they always bring bring their racist and conservative ideals with them. As a result, our state's natural resources are being plundered while they drink, golf, and throw money at every GOP huckster who promises to slash their tax rate even further.

The bump by these elderly migrants will be short lived.

Andy refuses to "Logic" the reasons for people making the hop AWAY from New York. Could it be HIM, and he doesn't recognize self discrimination? Perhaps Andy is doing a BAD JOB and needs to re-think what's happening. While it's true that Florida does have its problems, we can only hope that our "new residents" are able to reason to the level that they are willing to let go of their past tainted Political Belief Systems, as see clearly how much better off Florida is working to bring back the Love of a FREE America.

It is obvious after perusing this writer's posts, that he is ideologically compromised and unwilling to look objectively at how economics and politics actually work. Everything does not boil down to conservative vs. liberal or republican vs. democrat. All you media hacks perpetrating this travesty of journalistic integrity have a lot of blame on your shoulders for the sorry state of our nation as a whole with the constant labeling, divisioning & greed...

This is meaningless to the average working person in Florida. Maybe it creates some additional menial and low-paying jobs like lawn-cutting, pool-tending, power-washing, house-cleaning, etc., - but it certainly doesn't improve the quality of life in many significant ways for the everyday, year 'round, working Floridian. In fact - over-development here is probably reducing the overall quality of life - for everyone!

We don't mind the NY (Northeast) people coming to FL ----- but leave your damn liberal thinking north.

Democrat controlled state versus Republican controlled state. It's really quite simple!

When we had Askew, Graham, and Chiles as governors with a dominant Democratic legislature the environment was protected, the EPA did its' job, regulations designed to protect our water were honored. Wasn't perfect but the legislature served the public good and usually sided with consumers. Tourism, a relatively clean industry, was No. 1, with cattle and citrus. While DeSantis has begun to reverse 20 years of growth at any cost environmental policy, and has appointed a resiliency officer, even he cant bring himself to admit publicly that climate change presents catastrophic economic damage. Hotter water, bigger storms. Higher water, salt-water intrusion into our aquifer. Heavier water usage, more sinkholes. Focus on protecting what we have instead of building more Walmarts.

Unfortunately, you're not willing to cut to the chase - discussion of the "global warming" solution. So I will. And since Democrats mostly blame C02 from fossil fuel energy usage (oil, natural gas, coal), I'll put my main emphasis on that. First off, any solution that cuts our current energy usage without an economical substitute is simply unacceptable. That quickly eliminates solar and windmills. Arguments to the contrary are a non-starter. There is only ONE abundant energy source that has very high energy density and no C02 emissions. That energy source is clean modern nuclear - NOT the 45 year old technology that failed in Japan. With the exception of those who have been willing to read the results of the research, most Democrat politicians dismiss nuclear out-of-hand because they know their constituents have a very negative knee-jerk reaction due to their lack of education on the matter. So, as long as your side is unwilling to consider safe modern nuclear, you'll just have to embrace the continued use of fossil fuels.

Waiting for an "economical" substitute may be too late. Solar and wind might be viable but have been undermined by Big Oil. (Example: the trojan horse FPL backed amendment on solar, derailed by the Mia Herald) Nuclear? If you can safely dispose of the byproducts, let's do it! Turkey Point cooling canals dumping hypersaline water into Biscayne Bay. A local problem. Spent fuel? Yucca Mountain? Is it a risk worth taking in order to cut emissions? My side is your side, we all have to live here. Basic individual practices like planting trees and not sitting in a parked car with the engine running, creating one-time use products all contribute. Green New Deal plans that seem too burdensome now will, IF THEY WORK (and only if they work) result in carbon neutral output will be astronomically economical in the long run. That's where we differ. Forget the short term pain and take the long view. One credit I give Trump is going after our trade relationship with China. It's ugly in the near term, and may expedite the recession that always cycles in anyway, but it needs to be done. (Too bad he's a denier). There is no easy way to deal with climate change. Everyone has to sacrifice. Knee jerk supporters like me spout off about climate change because despite the evidence, we hear from the Deniers: It's hoax!; the Rationalizers: It's not man-made, it's natural; and the Fatalists: There's nothing we can do about it/or/Jesus will deal with it. The truth: it's real, it's coming fast, and it's morally criminal to willfully ignore it. You are not a denier, you are a pragmatist. Safe nuclear? SIGN ME UP!

Since the bulk of the C02 does not come from the US (in fact we've lowered C02 emissions with our substitute of natural gas for coal), we must be leaders. If we lead with stupid sh!t that hurts the economy and lowers the standard of living, no one will follow our lead. If we lead with safe modern nuclear and eliminate C02 emissions without lowering the standard of living, people will notice and want to get on board.

What is truly sad is that FL, with its 1.4 billion dollar surplus is floundering in infrastructure and services. Roads and bridges are crumbling, teacher shortages at public schools are as high as 30%, since FL is 46 in the country in teacher pay. There is a 3,000 person labor shortage in the FL Dept. of Corrections because at $30k per year, FL is next to last in the country in prison salaries for correctional officers. Sure business people will come, but they'll only relocate their operations here to be a tax haven. They will not stay unless these terrible inequities are fixed. It is all just smoke and mirrors. As with everything, politics, funding, life, there needs to be balance, and FL is just not there yet...

That may be do to the "Fredo" factor

But sadly, all those folks moving here from left leaning states will start voting for the exact same policies that drove them out of their home state.

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