Pal sends me an article wherein it is revealed that the irrepressible AOC — Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not the Admiral Overseas Corporation — is encouraging a billionaire hunt to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (Fredo’s older brother).
AOC, member in good standing of the Democratic Socialists of America and The Squad, a virulent progressive in her own right, author and sponsor of the Green New Deal, key adviser to Candidate Joe Biden, wants to tax New York State billionaires — of which there are apparently one hundred and eighteen.
She wants to tax the billionaires because she believes the billionaires have ” . . . benefited financially from the crisis while working-class Americans have suffered.”
“The crisis” to which she refers is COVID19. It is not immediately clear how the billionaires “benefited financially,” but in the spirit of cooperation, let’s pretend AOC is right.
Clearly, AOC seeks to punish the billionaires. Why not?
Without arguing the logic of her idea, it is fair to say that her proposal is a very targeted tax as it focuses on one hundred and eighteen New York taxpayers.
Haven’t we seen this movie already, Big Red Car?
Well certainly we have, dear reader. The plot points as I recall were:
1. Billionaires are not stupid. They didn’t make that money by being stupid.
2. Billionaires are mobile. They own many homes.
3. Anybody in New York can become a resident of another state by simply living in that state for 181 days of each year. One does have to make a formal declaration of residence and register to vote (nice to do, not need to do).
4. That other state might be a state like Florida, Texas, Wyoming — where there is no personal income tax.
5. Maryland tried a “Millionaire’s Tax” and ran off one third of its millionaires in one year. They moved — meaning they slept in a bed outside Maryland for 181 nights — to surrounding states or Florida (which has no personal income tax).
Of course, every billionaire will simply evaluate the financial implications and decide accordingly.
What about Bloomberg?
Take, as an example, former candidate for President Mike Bloomberg.
Old boy owns eight homes in New York, plus one each in London, Florida, Colorado, Vermont, and Bermuda.
Because he is a billionaire, Bloomberg’s life is complicated and so is his New York real estate: Trump Tower condo, Southhampton 22,000 SF getaway, Armonk home, North Salem horse country house, and one or two others.
All Bloomberg would have to do to avoid the clutches of AOC’s proposed punitive tax would be to declare Florida as his residence and not spend more than 180 days in New York. [I wonder if he spends more than 180 days in New York right now?]
What does Governor Andrew Cuomo say?
Governor Cuomo suggests that AOC look to change the Federal Tax Code so those New York billionaires don’t do exactly what Maryland learned they will do — move to Florida.
Governor Cuomo never met a tax he didn’t like, but he understands the mobility at work here.
So, dear reader, there you have it.
But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car on Day #10 of COVID19.