Eric Anthony Rodriguez

Eric Anthony Rodriguez

President Donald Trump announced this week that he is no longer a resident of New York. He has declared himself a resident of Florida. He joins thousands of other New Yorkers who flee that state and end up in Florida. In fact, Florida gains the most new residents of any state, and the majority of those moving here from other states come from New York. This mass exodus of New Yorkers into Florida is probably the reason Florida has overtaken New York and is now the third-most populous state.

It is not hard to figure out why one might leave the Empire State to come to the Sunshine State. This past weekend, the highs in New York City were in the 50’s with lows in the 30’s. In Palm Beach, Florida, Trump’s probable new residence, highs were in the 80’s and lows were in the 70’s. Our warmer weather is not the only reason for the massive influx of New Yorkers into our state.

Florida is one of only seven states that do not levy a state income tax. Recent changes to the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted from one’s federal income tax have made the move from New York to Florida even more appealing to wealthy individuals. Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. Part of that law limits state and local tax deductions to $10,000. I am actually surprised he did not make the move into a state without a state income tax sooner.

New York is not just going to kiss goodbye to all of those tax dollars easily. Trump and his wealthy friends moving to Florida will have to prove that they are spending 183 days out of the year here. The tax dodgers will also have to prove that their domicile is now in Florida. This is typically done by selling one’s New York residence and moving one’s belongings into the new residence, but I have a feeling Trump will not be selling Trump Tower anytime soon. New York’s tax auditors will also be looking to see that Trump’s most cherished possessions and his family have also actually moved to Florida. Trump, along with other wealthy New Yorkers who still have businesses or income-producing real estate in New York, will have to pay state taxes on the money made there.

I don’t blame Trump for wanting to live down here in paradise with the rest of us Floridians. I just want Trump to do one thing for us, and I want him to do it bigly. I want Trump to lie to anyone that asks and say he hates it down here in Florida. He can blame the mosquitoes or the alligators or the constant threat of hurricanes, but he needs to make this place sound horrible so the flow of New Yorkers into Florida will slow down at least some. I am fairly certain our roads and infrastructure could not handle Florida being the second-most populous state.

Eric lives in Suwannee County and is a public school educator. He is an independent contractor. You can reach him at miamistyle8@gmail.com.

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