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Politics

New York vs. Trump's Taxes

He loses a court battle over his returns, but he's also leaving the Empire State for Florida.

Nate Jackson · Nov. 5, 2019

Donald Trump’s tax returns have long been a point of contention between him and those who are bent on taking him out. To be sure, he probably has some taxing questions he’d rather not publicly answer, which is why he reneged on his campaign promise to follow the traditional practice of presidential candidates by releasing them. But he also has every right to keep those returns concealed. Except that’s not what another court has ruled.

“The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that President Trump’s accounting firm must hand over eight years of corporate tax returns to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, upholding a subpoena for the documents submitted by the D.A. earlier this year,” reports National Review. Trump plans to petition the U.S. Supreme Court, but NBC News notes, “Past Supreme Court rulings have upheld subpoenas directed at presidents, and this time the local prosecutors are seeking documents from the Trump Organization and Trump’s accountants — not directly from the president himself.”

We’ve warned about the danger Trump faces in New York, because what prosecutors are looking for is evidence that Trump violated campaign-finance law related to his (alleged) affairs and hush-money payoffs to Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, was sentenced to three years in prison for violating campaign-finance law with payments made to Daniels. The government of New York has politically targeted Trump, but he provided the opening.

Speaking of taxes and New York, the president announced last week that he’s leaving the Empire State to make his permanent residence in the Sunshine State instead. Florida has no income tax, compared to New York’s onerous high taxes. And, Trump noted, “Despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse. I hated having to make this decision, but in the end it will be best for all concerned.”

He’s not alone. New York loses more people each year than any other state, and its high taxes are the primary reason. According to a Bloomberg story in August, “New York leads all U.S. metro areas as the largest net loser with 277 people moving every day — more than double the exodus of 132 just one year ago.” Trump is right that few have been treated worse than he has, but that doesn’t mean New York treats anyone all that well. When a dollar goes so much further in Florida, why wouldn’t a New Yorker move?

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