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GREAT ESCAPERS

NY’s super-rich migrating south for better value

New York Post
December 8th, 2019
By JOHN AIDAN BYRNE

Quitting New York is making financial sense for many of the city’s super-rich.

Analysts say a growing number of New York’s financial elite believe that fleeing the city for other states with lower taxes and costs in order to protect their wealth is a total nobrainer — particularly since the 2019 UBS/PwC Billionaires Report found that the collective net worth of their peers globally has plunged heavily for the first time in years.

“The wealthy are migrating out of high-income-tax states such as New York to lower- or no-state-incometax locations, more than ever,” according to Michele Lee Fine, president of Cornerstone Wealth Advisory and a financial adviser in Jericho, NY.

“Much of the tone and focus of the recent political agenda has been attacking the wealthy directly at the wallet,” she added. “Whether you’re a billionaire or millionaire, there is cause for concern.”

Andwhile President Trumpandtycoons such as legendary corporate raider Carl Icahn — both of whomare swapping New York for lower-cost Florida domiciles — are grabbing headlines, dozens of lesser-known, highly successful wealthy New Yorkers are also plotting escapes.

“The exodus continues from this tax-heavy city,” the New York-based CEO of a small high-tech transportation company, who declined to be named, told The Post. “Most of the uber-wealthy I know in New York now spend the majority of their time in Florida or Texas, where they are not obliterated by taxes.”

John O’Shea, executive chairman of the broker-dealer Global Alliance Securities, knows the feeling.

About a year ago, O’Shea relocated his company from 100 Wall St. in lower Manhattan to Charleston, SC. He and his wife Jennifer vacated their New York home for a gated community in a tony section of this South Carolina paradise, paying just over $1 million for a luxury waterfront property on almost an acre.

“You can make more money and keep more of it in South Carolina,” O’Shea said.

With a local property tax rate of 0.4 percent, it means O’Shea pays just over $4,000 annually to live in the lap of luxury — a small fraction of what the owner of a comparable home in many parts of New York would pay in property taxes. And with a maximum of only $10,000 in local property taxes now deductible against federal taxes, O’Shea is making out just fine.

That’s unlike many New York residents who live in some of the fanciest ZIP codes — some with annual property taxes starting at $40,000.

“The quality of life is also much better down here,” O’Shea told The Post. “I have a much larger property than what I would pay for something similar up in New York — and I also have lower costs for my business and in my home.”

At 100 Wall St., where O’Shea once ran a sprawling operation, at least three other firms also recently left the building for offices in the US sunshine states, according to people familiar with the moves. Management for the building didn’t respond to a request for comment.

You can make more money and keep more of it in South Carolina. — John O’Shea

Source: New York Post