New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have lost another major tax revenue stream as one of the city's largest and wealthiest hedge funds has announced they are moving south to Florida.
Reportedly due to the uncertainty caused by the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, billionaire New Yorker Paul Singer said this week that he will be moving his $41 billion dollar hedge fund, Elliott Management, to West Palm Beach. Only a small office with a few staffers will remain in the Big Apple.
This announcement serves as only the latest example of wealthy New Yorkers abandoning the state for more freedom and lower taxes amid crushing rules and lockdowns imposed by elected leaders in New York.
With ongoing lockdowns and destroyed small businesses, the unemployment rate in New York for September 2020 was a staggering 14.1 percent, significantly higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.9 percent. Cuomo and de Blasio have both been sharply criticized for their stifling orders that have squashed small businesses and prompted residents to flee New York City.
The loss of taxable income due to the pandemic in NYC was expected to reach $2 billion for 2020, a figure that was estimated prior to Singer's announcement.
"Even as the city has contained the spread of the virus, it has been unable to exert control over its threat to the economy," the New York Times wrote last month. "Numerous economic indicators suggest that New York City will face an extended financial crisis, the likes of which has not been seen since the 1970s."
Success over the virus in New York has also been a topic of much controversy, as the state has recorded far more deaths than any other state in the Union.
That sound you hear is Gov Cuomo in tears wondering how he's going to make up the tax revenue https://t.co/M0RRN9jnML— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) October 23, 2020
Nearly 500 employees of Elliott Management have reportedly been working remotely throughout the pandemic, many of them from other parts of the country. As people all over the nation adjust to working from afar through various technology, the future of thriving office buildings is in flux. Many offices and employees have no plans to return to their desks away from home any time soon.
"The main driver was to provide flexibility to people who want to have more say in where they live and work," one source familiar with the Elliott relocation told the New York Times.
Cuomo joked in August that he would offer to cook dinner for his wealthy friends who were planning on abandoning New York.
But I thought Cuomo promised to cook him dinner? https://t.co/teoWgiuP6p— Vince Coglianese (@VinceCoglianese) October 23, 2020
It seems that dinner was not the offer Singer was looking for.
Singer has also been the long time chair of the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank in New York City that was founded in the 1970s amid an economic freefall.
While city leaders have refused to release their emergency pandemic power and continue to stifle the freedom of New Yorkers to earn and make their own choices about their health and safety, they have pleaded with the federal government to bail them out. The president has refused to budge on massive financial help for New York, noting Cuomo and de Blasio's insistence on keeping a stranglehold on their own economy.