50% Taxes When Alive, 50% Taxes When You Die

taxes_Flickr_401KI, Ronn Torossian, am a born and bred New Yorker, who raises a family here, owns a business – and loves all this city has to offer.  Yet I would be among the first to advise people not to live or move to New York if they don’t have to.  If they have ambition or drive, New York isn’t the place to be. From the non-stop energy to the culture, indeed, this city deserves its title as capital of the world.  Yet from a business perspective, there are so many obstacles for living – and dying – in New York that one shouldn’t do it unless they absolutely have to. Why? The issue is really quite simple – while you are alive, if successful, you will pay 54% taxes as a resident of New York City.  And if you are successful, your heirs will be taxed on the monies which you kept after the government took their share.

The latest report from the Tax Foundation notes yet again in 2014, New York ranks as the highest taxed state in America. New Yorkers spend 12.6% of their per capita income on state and local taxes, the highest percentage of any state in the nation. 2014 marked the third consecutive year that New York had the highest tax burden in the nation. And New York ranks 50th in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index. The Index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: corporate taxes, individual income taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, and taxes on property, including residential and commercial property.

Of course, there was a much ballyhooed change of the law for estate-taxes. As of January 1, 2019, the exemption will jump to the inflation-indexed federal level, which by then will be about $5.8 million.  Anyone who goes over that amount will see their family pay more than half of it out to the government.  Given those facts, it should come as no surprise that New York has indeed become the Must-Leave State. Census Bureau estimates show that 104,470 more people moved out of New York than moved into it during the 12 months ending July 1.  This comes off a decade where more than 1.6 million New Yorkers moved out of state between 2000 and 2010. (And if the awful winter which we saw in 2014 continues next year, I am sure the trend will only further increase).

Against this backdrop, The New York City Council introduced a bill that would impose a 10-cent fee on plastic and paper bags. While sane people review and consider this, one may wonder if New York City can possibly get any more expensive – or absurd. With all the issues that exist, is this really something for New York government to be involved with? (And as an aside, won’t these costs be passed along to consumers? How about all the companies who make these bags – how many people will be fired because Americans stop using bags?) Do politicians need another tax?

New York cost of living is very high – as are individual income taxes and property taxes. Despite all that New York has to offer, between cost of living and taxes, this is increasingly becoming the State not to live in. (And it has long been – and remains – the State not to die in.) As a 39-year-old born and bred New Yorker, I work very hard for my money, and I must ask, when is enough enough? Why does this government insist on putting so much strain on hard-working, successful people? New York taxes energetic people who sacrifice every day to create opportunities for others as well as themselves.

Rest assured, however, I am standing now in my PR Firm New York office– and the good news is there are no longer people drinking Big Gulps – and soon people will not be carrying plastic bags in the Land of the Free.  They will, however, between life and death, pay the majority of their income in taxes.

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  • The Facts

    Imagine what it must have been like for people who didn’t hire a tax preparer, and whose blogs about their banal quarterly tax filings don’t make the center column. Next week: Ronn Torossian as Elaine changes a flat tire.

    • A Z

      I love it when you show up. It means that the Left must be all hot & bothered by it.

      Me think thou doth protest too much.

  • Michael Copeland

    Canada has no Inheritance Tax.
    Italy (a few years ago) had estate tax on dwelling only at 3%, and not on savings,
    investments, house contents etc.
    Holland charges 10% if heirs are descendants, higher if cousins etc.
    UK charges Inheritance Tax at 40% on all property, savings, investments, house contents, jewelry, car etc. over a threshold of £350,000.
    Socialism is voracious, and a blight on enterprise.

    See “How Not to Build a Country: Inheritance Tax”


    • Michael Copeland

      Not forgetting that in UK any lifetime gifts made within FOUR YEARS of death are taxable at 40%. After that they begin to qualify for tapering relief. At SEVEN YEARS after death they are no longer taxable.

  • Sharps Rifle

    Just the kind of drivel we’d expect from someone who thinks (c)rappers are conservatives. This is one of his “conservative” icons…


    FPM’s credibility goes down just that much more when they post Torossian’s blather.

    • David A

      Did your mom forget to lock the basement again? Go back down there. And keep sleeping with your 1st cousin you fool – its why Obama is in the White House.

  • Chiron_Venizelos

    Thanks Mr. Torrosian, for laying it out straight. Taxation will lead to the collapse of NYC, and eventually New York State. Oh well, at least you can get pizza 24/7.

  • Soxtory

    The Yankees’ Robinson Cano left for the Seattle Mariners and is saving 4.5 million dollars per year for the next ten years in state/city taxes alone! Enough for his extended family to live on for life on the just the savings.

    • swemson

      When I left NYC, 24 years ago, I was paying an 18% NYC tax on my monthly garage space, which itself, before taxes, was over $400 a month.

      A friend of mine moved from NYC to Florida a year ago and built an extraordinary home on 3 waterfront acres with the money he got for his NYC co-op apartment, however his Florida RE tax bill is over $30,000 a year. When he told me about it I was shocked but he was laughing about it because, as he told me, in Florida, he was saving well over $100,000 a year in state income taxes.

      Now, as if Bloomberg’s progressive policies weren’t bad enough, they elected an out and out Marxist as their mayor….. I feel bad saying this because I have friends still living there, but at this point, the citizens of NY deserve whatever they get….


      • Soxtory

        In some states, like New Hampshire, you pay little or nothing in state income tax and sales tax but they really sock it to you in property tax. I was not aware of this in Florida.

        Our Red mayor here in NYC was elected because 76% of elgible voters did not vote! A dedicated Marxist, so far he is being held in check by, of all people, Cuomo.

      • Shel_Zahav

        Marxists should be in jail. They are enemies of the country.

    • http://geoffreybritain.wordpress.com/ Geoffrey_Britain

      Seattle is one of the most liberal cities in the nation. Cano has merely deferred his economic rape.

      • Soxtory

        True, but Washington state and Texas, where he will now play more games in division, have no state income tax, as opposed to NY, Mass., Md and Canada where he played the vast majority of games with the Yankees.

  • Rdlake

    NY, the arrogance of the Liberals, the ignorance of its citizens. Corrupt DemocRats promises of free stuff filled with lies, taxes, fees & fines. They voted for it, let them eat cake.

  • http://geoffreybritain.wordpress.com/ Geoffrey_Britain

    In order to delay running out of “other people’s money” every socialistic system must gradually seize ALL income, assets and private property. To repress protest and resistance, ALL thought, speech and behavior is gradually categorized as either forbidden or mandatory.

    Totalitarianism is the natural end state for all socialistic systems, for to survive
    they must seize total control and, total control can only be achieved through coercion and repression.


    So, socialists like to impose high taxes, and everywhere they rule bring misery – who knew? Any ideas, Ronn, on how we might either persuade or compel them to change their ways? I don’t see any new ground being covered here.

  • Trappedincalifornia

    My husband & I just moved out of San Francisco, CA for a lot of the same reasons. Too much regulation on business, high taxes, high crime & we were not allowed to have bags either. Actually, we can’t burn fires in our own fireplaces on certain days & you don’t want to know what we had to go through to get the trash collected!

    Look around & you will find some beautiful places to live…we did. The best part about our new home–no progressives for miles.

  • Susan Benton

    It the author knows this – why is he still living in NYC?

  • tfeqh

    Please don’t come to Florida. You’ve ruined NY with your leftist votes; we don’t need you to do that here!

  • Ex NYer

    I left NYC in the mid ’80s and haven’t missed it for a day. I was born and raised in the city but came to hate the place as unions and democrats ruined the place. I get to keep more of what I earn. No wild black kids to mess up schools for my kids. You can keep it.