‘Millionaires Tax’ Threat Has Some NY Bankers, Managers Eyeing Exits

BOSTON – For decades New York’s bankers and fund managers have accepted the city’s high tax rates as a part of working in the world’s premier financial capital.

But with plans afoot to raise rates as part of a New York state budget agreement, some financiers are exploring exits, emboldened by a pandemic that has illustrated how working on Wall Street may no longer mean working from Wall Street.

“I’m already looking for an apartment in Florida,” said one highly paid person at a top-tier bank who asked not to be identified because his employer does not yet know of his plans to move.

Others earning more than $1 million are considering still bolder steps such as moving not only themselves but also their entire investment firms out of the city, arguing higher taxes cut into their ability to pay staff.

A proposal making its way through New York’s state legislature would have top New York City earners paying up to 15.73% in combined state and city taxes.

New York state’s income tax rates currently range from 4% to 8.82% and New York City’s tax ranges from 3.08% to 3.88%, leaving the top earnings paying closer to 12.7%.