Cuomo’s Tax Comments Spur Facebook Debate

Yesterday, I reported that Andrew Cuomo told supporters in midtown that the state can’t raise taxes because residents will “vote with their feet,” according to one attendee in the room.

I assumed Cuomo meant migrating out of New York, a la Golisano and Limbaugh. I would have asked him, but Cuomo went through an elaborate media avoidance exercise.

Political consultant Joe Mercurio added some context to Cuomo’s remarks on my FaceBook page: “He did not say they would move away, he said they would stay home and not vote for the Democrats if they raised taxes. I might add, just like they voted with their feet last year and Democratic turnout was way down.”

Mercurio’s writing was part of a lively debate on FaceBook, with contributions from Roger Stone, Henry Goldman, Stu Loeser and Aaron Naparstek:

Joe Mercurio: “Cuomo would be correct if he said that.”

Roger Stone: “when will he tell us what spending he will cut in order to cut taxes?”

Henry Goldman: [links to a story headlined: “Rich Stay When Taxes Rise, New Jersey Analyst Says]

Goldman: “I’m always amused by politicians who defend the rich against the abuses of the poor.”

Mercurio: “Henry, he did not say they would move away, he said they would stay home and not vote for the Democrats if they raised taxes. I might add, just like they voted with their feet last year and Democratic turnout was way down.”

Loeser: “As that story reports, Henry, “only” two percent of taxpayers affected by Maryland’s millionaires tax left. But in NYC, the top ONE percent of filers currently pay 57.2% of the City’s Personal Income Tax. So even if “only” two percent of our biggest taxpayers leave, if they’re the ones most affected by the tax, we’re, umm, screwed.”

Loeser: “And you should read this, too: [links to a story headlined “Like it or not, we need it! Wall St. is New York’s Main Street.”]

Goldman: “I’m familiar with the argument.”

Mercurio: “Actually, the fear is not the millionaires leaving, as bad as that might be, the fear is losing thiose between $100,000 and $500,000, who would leave in greater numbers.”

Aaron Naparstek: “Do we have an example of this ever happening anywhere — a municipality or state raises taxes and suddenly a bunch of wealthy inhabitants disinvest and move somewhere else?”

Loeser: “Well, within the confines of this discussion, the only proof that we have that it happens is the data in the story Henry posted.”