By John Suayan | The Center Square
Recent reports indicate New Yorkers frustrated with high taxes and fearing for their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic are flocking to New Hampshire.
Chris Sununu, New Hampshire’s Republican governor, said Empire State expatriates to his state are at the forefront of an exodus in the Northeast.
“You’re in New York, you have a mayor who doesn’t know what he’s doing,” Sununu told CNBC. “You have years of terrible policy out of Albany. People have choices, and 2020 is driving them to those decisions. It’s like they put a big sign on the Brooklyn Bridge that says, ‘The last one out, turn out the lights.’”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have both faced criticism for their handling of the coronavirus crisis after the city and state served as the epicenter of the outbreak in the spring. The state of New York was facing a multibillion budget deficit even before the pandemic.
Sununu credits the influx for New Hampshire’s real estate boom, but a major problem remains: New York, Massachusetts, and other states continue to tax out-of-state workers whom the coronavirus forced to telecommute from home.
For example, Massachusetts Gov. Chris Baker earlier this year announced his intentions to continue taxing workers from New Hampshire – even if they were working remotely, The Boston Globe reported.
Massachusetts’s Department of Revenue still taxes homebound out-of-state workers, with plans to do so until the end of the year. Under Baker’s policy, a day in which a New Hampshire employee clocks in from home is classified as in an office day.
Angered by their southern neighbor’s actions, New Hampshire leaders, including Sununu, took certain courses of action. The governor directed his attorney general to review the taxation rules of New Hampshire’s neighbors while two state senators wrote Massachusetts revenue commissioner Geoffrey Snyder criticizing that state’s plans to impose taxes on New Hampshire residents forced to telecommute through the end of 2020 or whenever Baker lifts the state of emergency.
Sununu vowed to stand up to states he accused of “pickpocketing” his residents.
“They’re coming after our citizens, and we’re going to put up a fight,” the governor told CNBC.