• Wayne C. Hahne

Cuomo And De Blasio Differ On New York Wealthy


New York City mayor Bill De Blasio broke with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo when discussing the wealthy of New York that had migrated out since March. During a news conference held on Thursday, August 6, De Blasio referred to the well off New Yorkers as “fairweather friends,” and insisted that the top 1 percent of the city’s population should be further taxed. This contrasts Cuomo’s approach to wealthy residents when he made a plea to them in a Tuesday news conference and then later said:

If you pass a piece of legislation that requires New York to raise taxes, raise a millionaire’s tax in this economic environment in New York City, where we’re struggling… We used to be worried, millionaire’s tax, people might leave. No, no, no. The burden shifted. We’re trying to get people to come back. We’re trying to get them to come back.

Residents Migrating From New York

Back in 2019, Cuomo gave the statement "God forbid if the rich leave," after a $2.3 billion tax-revenue shortfall. The governor had been obstinate about not taxing the wealthy of New York, of whom had made up 46 percent of the government revenue according to Yahoo News. Events in 2020, however, have resulted in a migration of high-income residents from the most populous city in the United States.

As reported by the New York Times, around 5 percent of the New York population had gotten away from the city between March 1 and May 1. The West Village, Brooklyn Heights, Upper East Side, SoHo, are among the examples where New York saw a 40 percent decrease in residential living. While New York is now opening back up, the city has seen a record crime rise that includes a spike gun violence, burglaries, car thefts, and more according to the NYPD.

De Blasio Interested in Buying Empty NYC Buildings

In the aforementioned Thursday news conference, De Blasio also mentioned that the city is planning to purchase buildings and convert them into affordable housing. De Blasio, who is also a landlord, detailed little more information about the plan. The city has also declined to offer any details either due to "privacy concerns."

This plan comes as New York is currently housing 13,000 homeless people in 139 hotels around the city, according to the Daily Mail. The exact cost of that task amounts to $ 2.275 million each day. Due to the Coronavirus, De Blasio has stated the measure will remain until a vaccine is created.


Wayne C. Hahne is a Policy Correspondent for The National Times