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

Posted By Ronn Torossian On April 9, 2014 @ 12:05 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 20 Comments

I, 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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