Saturday, May 23, 2009

Golisano: Why I'm Leaving New York

I love New York. But how much should it cost to call New York home? Decades of out of control budgets, spending increases and relentless borrowing have made New York simply too expensive.
Politicians like to talk about incentives: incentives for businesses to relocate, incentives to buy local and incentives to make smart decisions. After reviewing the 2009 budget I have identified the most compelling incentive of all: a major tax break immediately available to all New Yorkers. To be eligible, you need only do one thing: move out of New York State.
Last week I spent 90 minutes doing a couple of simple things-registering to vote, changing my drivers license, filling out a domicile certificate and signing a homestead certificate-in Florida. Combined with spending a 184 days a year outside New York these simple procedures will save me over $5 million in NY taxes annually.
That savings doesn't include that Florida has a 6% sales tax compared to NY's 8% or more. Florida has lower utility taxes. Lower gasoline taxes. Or that the Florida homestead certificate guarantees my property taxes will not grow more than 3%.
By moving to Florida I can spend that money on worthy causes like better hospitals, improving education and worthy projects like the Clinton Global Initiative. Or maybe I will continue to invest that money in fighting the status quo in Albany. One thing is certain, that money will not continue to fund Albany's bloated bureaucracy, corrupt politicians or regular handouts to the special interests.
How did we get here in the first place? It all starts with spending, spending and more spending.
(Read rest in comment area)


SCATS said...


New York's budget was $72.7 billion in 1999. Ten years later it has ballooned to $131.8 billion. That growth is astounding but it continues to get worse. Each year, New York's budget has had 6% compounded growth, double the average rate of inflation (2.8%). Florida's budget, on the other hand, went down 8% this year.


New York spends $2,283 per person on Medicaid. That's the highest per capita spending in the nation and twice the national average. In the last decade the Medicaid budget has grown by 50% ($30 billion in 1999 and $45 billion in 2009). In almost every sector (hospitals, nursing homes, medicine, clinics, and home and community care) spending per recipient regularly exceeds the national average.

Faced with escalating costs and diminishing returns, Albany and their allies, the health care unions (SEIU has over 300,000 politically active members), had only one answer: increase taxes.


New York spends the most, per pupil, in America on education, spending 63% above the national average. Costs went up about 60% in the last decade ($12.7 billion in 1999 and $20.7 billion in 2009). Like health care, education is something worth spending on and worth investing in but we're spending more and getting less. New York City schools graduated 54% of high school students in 2007. Buffalo 47% and Rochester 45%.

Why? Perhaps it's because the New York State teachers union with its $114 million budget is always trying to convince Albany to spend more. Maybe it's because it's mandatory that all teachers pay union dues. Whatever the cause, when faced with potential cuts, the union and their allies have one response: increase taxes.


It's not just the state. It's the range and breadth of many layers of governments and special taxing districts. In New York, the average state and local tax burden is $5,260 for every man, woman and child. That's by far the highest in the country. Like Albany, when faced with a difficult problem, these municipalities have one answer: increase taxes.

Upstate New York has been particularly hard hit. Add unreasonable real estate taxes to the uncontrolled state spending and you have whole communities decimated. The assessment process is unfair, unworkable and unreasonable and the result is that 15 of the 20 highest taxed counties in America are right here in Upstate New York. While homeowners in other areas build equity, we just pay more taxes.


This problem did not begin with the current recession. New York faced a $6 billion shortfall before the economic downturn. However in the face of economic turmoil Governor Paterson, Speaker Silver and Majority Leader Smith looked to the unions and special interests who answered with one voice: raise taxes.

Among other taxes and fees, they raised the marginal tax rate on the most successful (and most mobile) New Yorkers to 8.97 percent, the second highest rate in the nation.

It was irresponsible and it may just prove to be counterproductive since the top 1% of earners account for about 50% of state revenue. We're the one who can-and will-leave.

It's not an easy decision but I'm being forced away from my family and friends, pain shared by too many parents and grandparents in this state.

I'm leaving. And by domiciling in Florida I will personally save $13,800 every single day. That's a pretty strong incentive.

Like I said, I love New York but I'm not going to pay any more for the waste, corruption and inefficiency that is New York State government.


Responsible New York

PS: Please let us know what YOU think on our blog, HERE:

Tom Kackmeister said...

We need Tom Golisano to help organize a new state organization. I call it a "union of the non-union".

The public unions in New York have a lock on the politicians. It is this stronghold that drives up the costs of operating New York state. There is a need to counter that influence.

I think there are hundreds of thousands of individuals in New York that would pay $10 per year and tens of thousands that would pay $10 per month to try to fight back at this union influence.

But it would take the seed money and influence of a Tom Golisano to get this off the ground. I can see the developement of an e-mail list similar to the one developed to further Obamas's presidential bid. That would be a strong start to win back New York for the people of New York.

With the help of Tom Golisano it is possible to take back New York for New Yorkers. I hope he will listen to this plea.

Anonymous said...

The real problems wasn't unions at all. It's private corporations and their greedy CEO's who would like nothing more but to remove the protections the unions guarantee the workers.

Then they can be paid crap, work for less, receive little to nothing in benefits, and have no way of complaining about it.

Perhaps instead, the government needs an entire rehaul - starting with campaign spending limits as well as term limits on politicians.

If people like Jim Alesi didn't make a career out of sucking off the teet of all that Albany has to offer, he could go back to selling coin operated washers and dryers - the career he had before he became Jimbo the Great.

To take from workers, blame workers, and further want to diminish any safeguards in place to protect workers and their families is just another bash in the skull of the middle and lower class workforce that has to eat whatever crap the CEO's like Golisano, or politicians dish out.

It was corporate greed that killed America. It was corporate greed that spawned and bred itself royal in the Bush White House, and it will be corporate greed that will be slain by the little guy in the blue collar who says "no more!"

Anonymous said...

9:31 the rest of your quote would be "no more jobs"
That can be blamed on the unions and corporate greed and the mismanagement of the banking industry.
Why was it that the Amicos were on trial and found guilty of doing the same thing that caused all of these upside down mortgages?

Anonymous said...

It is apparent when reading 4:52 and 9:31, that we cannot hope to solve the problem if we don't understand it. It sometimes appears that we would rather fight with each other than work together to solve the problem. It seems that the problems are:
1. Taxes are too high causing people (who can) to move to lower taxing states
2. Regulations that stifle business growth and competitive innovation
3. "Assistance" from the state that fosters dependency rather than self reliance.
I think Tom Golisano is correct is his analysis of the state. Hopefully his Responsible NY will become large enough that it will be heard in Albany

Anonymous said...

11:28 - the problem is closer than you think. Why not ask John Nicolo, the scammer who partnered with Greece Assessor Charles Schwab why, when his son and namesake lost his regular job, daddy got him hired building those same houses for the Amicos?

Could it be that some of that "found" money from the Greece Town Hall was helping build the dreams of the future crooks?

Follow the money trail...speaking of which - why didn't ONE SINGLE TAXPAYER in Greece get a refund? Or a reduction?

Maybe John Auberger could answer that question for the taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

Dear Tom Golisano,

Shut up and get out. You forfeited your credulity to comment on New York State when you abandoned it.

Let's "play the tape", shall we?

NY was good enough for you to build a BILLION dollars in net worth.

NY was good enough to allow you to "spread your seed" by re-branding hospitals and schools with the "Golisano name" in perpetuity.

NY was good enough to run for Governor, but when you saw how much work it would be to actually win, you ran away from that too.

NY was good enough for you to buy the Buffalo Sabres. How's THAT coming, Mr. Hotshot? There's always "next year" (something that fans have gotten used to saying).

Despite your self-worth quotient, you are largely ineffective at anything other than doing other people's payroll (and you haven't really done that for a while, have you?).

What HAVE you done? You've decided to spend 184 days a year somewhere else. You've decided that your vote will count only for elections in Florida.

You don't love NY. You love the sound of your own voice and the look of your name on the side of buildings.

Am I better than you are? Not by a long shot. I am, however, a proud RESIDENT of the State of New York.

Shut up and get out already. And shut up. Oh, and if I have forgotten to say it, let me say it now: shut up!

Anonymous said...

to 6:18 - you are one of the most ungrateful sounding people I have ever heard. Tom Golisano has given millions to the people of this community and state and you think he is in moving to put a few dollars more in his pocket! He could easily save the tax dollars by cutting off his generous donations to this area alone, but he wants to have those dollars to continue to give to worthwhile activities. Your ingratitude is absolutely astonishing and shameful. Please get a warm glass of milk and a good night's sleep!

Anonymous said...

I second the motion! Tom G. please help us.

Anonymous said...

Yes, please help us. Save us from ourselves. If you do, we'll rename ourselves the Golisano Central School District. We'll even let you attend board meetings while you're in Florida. Please help us!

Charlie Hubbard said...

I'm not sure if the poster of 6:18 was trying to be provocative or lacks the basic intelligence to be able to look at facts as oppossed to down right dishonesty. I suspect they may be a disgruntled ex exemployee. If so Paycheck's was right.

Mr. Golisono sent a message to Albany. My concern is wheather anyone is listening. We New Yorkers 'used' to have confidense that our government officials would try to fix any problem for the good of our state, always looking out to promote even more prosperity down the road. Sadly our elected officials have gone AWOL. Unfortunatly N.Y.S. has become the ENTITLEMENT capital of the country. Companies and good people like Mr. Galisano are saying 'I tried to fix it' 'I can't take it no more' 'I'm gone'

Elected officials say 'we'll be fine-lets tax the rich' 'our problems will be over' and the stupid people like the 6:18 poster eat it up. That $13,800 per day is now going to be paid by us because Albany lacks the inteligence or will to 'reduce' spending by $13,800 per day.
The real problem is 'most' of us like the 6:18 poster will sit with one thumb out of site and let it happen - over and over.

Anonymous said...

When all the capitalists leave NY, and all that remains are the socialists and those who benefit from the socialist agenda (tax breaks, county money, STAR, investments from the NY Pension program, civil servants, etc), then who will be left to save the Socialist Republic of New York?

The upper middle class (young educated) left New York a long time ago. And now, the rich are leaving. Not just Golisano - many of New York's rich.

Anonymous said...

I see that name calling (Charlie Hubbard's "stupid people like the 6:18 poster" comment) is reserved only for SCATS' friends and family.

Please, name something that Tom Golisano has done for NY residents. Concrete, please. I'm interested to know.

SCATS said...

To 8:06AM ~~ My apologies for missing something over a holiday weekend where I spent much of my time away from THIS! I guess I didn't read the entire entry.

Charlie ~~ Shame on you for name-calling. Next time, SCATS will "scratch" your comment.

To 8:06AM ~~ Through his businesses and his charitable donations, Golisano created jobs. I'd say that's something.

Anonymous said...

Despite the "generosity" that has been ascribed to doing so, Golisano created jobs that resulted in profit that added to his personal net worth. That's not bad...but it hardly makes one "generous".

Likewise, we all contribute to charitable causes, in proportion to our income levels.

What has Golisano actually "done" (verb) in proportion to the sphere of influence that he purports to wield (or that we ascribe to him), that qualifies him to comment as he has? I honestly can't think of anything. Can anyone else? I'm honestly curious.

Anonymous said...

5:07 I doubt any of us has ever created a job (singular, not plural) or built a research facility or hospital addition or anything even close to what Golisano has accomplished with his many generous gifts. As they say, it takes money to make money. People who make money (like Golisano, Gates, Trump and many others) give back a great deal too.

Charlie Hubbard said...

Scats - there will be no apology from here to the 'anonymous' 6:18 or 8:06 poster.

I suppose when someone is so disconnected that they have to 'ask' what Mr. Galisano has done for this community?? THIS is truly hard to believe. The word I used is much too flattering.

What is more important is the message being sent by our government officials which is - bring your ideas and plans to N.Y. - start your business here - and oh by the way should you be sucessfull? - we are going to tax the he## out of ya.
So perhaps people like 'anonymous' 6:18 and or 8:06 can answer my question - why would any business want to come here?

Anonymous said...

Andrew Carnegie created jobs, gave a lot to libraries created a university in his name.he was still a robber baron who harmed workers more than he helped them. I think the contributions of such wealthy people have to be put into context. They have sometimes used their power to advocate regressive ideas.

I'm not lumping everyone wealthy into the same boat, but in many cases great wealth is based on great exploitation. To worship this uncritically says a lot about what's wrong with our society.

Anonymous said...

Those who criticize the wealthy for creating jobs, building institutions and leaving an indelible mark are likely suffering from pangs of great envy.

Anonymous said...

Sure Charlie, great position: "If you don't know, then I'm not going to tell you." Where are we, middle school? Pony up or shut up already.

The 5:07pm question stands: What has Golisano actually "done" (verb) in proportion to the sphere of influence that he purports to wield (or that we ascribe to him), that qualifies him to comment as he has? I honestly can't think of anything. Can anyone else? I'm honestly curious.

SCATS said...

To All ~~ The name-calling, telling people to "shut up" and similar are intolerable! Cease & desist! If you can't express yourself without resorting to that, then maybe you should keep your fingers away from the keyboard.

Regarding what Golisano has done ~~ In my opinion, anyone who has created a billion dollars in personal wealth, then given away enough to build all of the facilities that he has, has lived the American Dream! There are so many places in this world where Golisano's accomplishments could never become reality. I agree with the person who said that folks who would criticize such achievements are envious.