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Comptroller’s Office – Taxpayers Leaving State Spiked During Pandemic

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A report recently released by New York State Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, shows more than one in 100 resident personal income tax filers, had left the state in 2020. The Comptroller’s Office says the pandemic caused a major shift in taxpayer movement, with outmigration quadrupling in 2020 when compared to 2019.


DiNapoli says though, the numbers declined in 2021, but the net number of taxpayers leaving continued to remain one-third greater than the pre-pandemic average.

“The pandemic upended everyone’s life and caused a big shift in the movement of New York taxpayers in 2020,” DiNapoli said. “While patterns shifted closer to pre-pandemic trends in 2021, net out-migration rates remained higher, particularly for families. Policy makers need to make sure the state remains an attractive, affordable place to work and to live. Doing so will help maintain the state’s largest revenue source to ensure vital services continue in order to provide a high quality of life for all New Yorkers.”

Personal Income Tax (PIT) is the state’s largest revenue source, with $60 billion in tax liability paid by just under 11 million New Yorkers in 2021. Between 2015 to 2019, the average annual net out-migration was nearly 28,700 taxpayers. In 2020, that number spiked to nearly 112,500.

“In 2021, the number of people moving into the state rebounded and was more than one and half times over the year prior, and was also higher than the average in-migration from 2015 to 2019. Still, the number of taxpayers moving out was greater, resulting in a net out-migration of over 39,200, more than one-third greater than the pre-pandemic average” according to the release.

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