New York Drives Out Yet Another High-Profile Celebrity

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If you were to study the “Laffer Curve,” developed by Dr. Art Laffer, you will see a curve illustrating the theory that continuous increases in taxation will, at some point, no longer result in higher tax revenues. That may seem counter-intuitive on the surface, but it shows that there is a tipping point at which high taxes will instead lead to worker apathy and diminished productivity. Those who can afford to leave will do so. The result will actually be a reduction in collected tax revenues. In this particular case, I am applying the Laffer Curve to the state and city of New York; the individual with the means to leave, this time, is Sean Hannity.

Anyone who has watched Fox News or listened to Fox Radio is very familiar with Sean Hannity. A native New Yorker, he has broadcast both his radio and television programs from New York City since the early 1990s. His political and moral viewpoints are clearly conservative, as he jousts with liberal guests. As proof of that, he is also a registered Conservative, a political affiliation recognized by the state New York.

Hannity rears up at the policies of his state’s government, particularly their propensity to continuously raise taxes on wealthy individuals. He often cites the fact that well over half of his income already goes to state, local and city taxes. Needless to say, when newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio boldly announced that part of his administration’s agenda was to raise taxes even further, Hannity railed.

Then came the final blow. In a recent radio interview, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a disparaging remark about conservatives and their moral values, stating that they had “no place in the state of New York because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” That was all Hannity needed to hear. With exorbitant taxation rates, and now this, Hannity announced squarely to Governor Cuomo that he was leaving. Now he couldn’t wait to leave New York, and that he would be bringing along “all of his money, every single solitary cent.” And as a slap at the governor, he would also be moving his entire broadcast operation, resulting in many lost jobs for the state, a state that is currently ranked thirty-fifth highest in unemployment, nationally.

Hannity has considered two states with zero personal income taxes as his potential destination – one being Texas, new home of fellow New York expatriate Glenn Beck, and Florida, where ex-New Yorker Rush Limbaugh broadcasts from his “Excellence in Broadcasting” (EIB) studios. Considering that Hannity already owns a Gulf-front home in Naples, Florida, and “loves to fish,” the Sunshine State would be the odds on winner.

This is certainly not the last of stories like this one. Between 1992 and 2010, the state of Florida had already gained over $96 billion in migrated wealth, the lion’s share of nearly $19 billion coming directly from New York. As taxes continue to increase to intolerable levels, there will certainly be many more notable names headed down I-95.