Tax refugees staging escape from New York By ANDY SOLTIS Last Updated: 6:08 AM, October 27, 2009 Posted: 2:53 AM, October 27, 2009 http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/tax_refugees_staging_escape_from_qb4pItQ71UXIc0i6cd3UpK New Yorkers are fleeing the state and city in alarming numbers -- and costing a fortune in lost tax dollars, a new study shows. More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country. The vast majority of the migrants, 1.1 million, were former residents of New York City -- meaning one out of seven city taxpayers moved out. "The Empire State is being drained of an invaluable resource -- people," the report said. What's worse is that the families fleeing New York are being replaced by lower-income newcomers, who consequently pay less in taxes. Overall, the ex-New Yorkers earn about 13 percent more than those who moved into the state, the study found. And it should be no surprise that the city -- and Manhattan in particular -- suffered the biggest loss in terms of taxable income. The average Manhattan taxpayer who left the state earned $93,264 a year. The average newcomer to Manhattan earned only $72,726. That's a difference of $20,538, the highest for any county in the state. Staten Island was second, with a $20,066 difference. It all adds up to staggering loss in taxable income. During 2006-2007, the "migration flow" out of New York to other states amounted to a loss of $4.3 billion. The study used annual US Census reports, which showed which states had increased population, combined with Internal Revenue Service data, which show which states, cities and counties had lost people. While New York City and the state were the losers, the Sunshine and Garden States were winners. more than 250,000 New Yorkers who lived in and around the city fled to Florida. Another 172,000 city taxpayers ended up in New Jersey. Why all the moving vans? The center, part of the conservative Manhattan Institute, blames the state's high cost of living and high taxes. The study also revealed surprising details about how city residents moved from borough to borough. Manhattan lost 64,480 taxpayers, and more than half -- 34,383 -- went to The Bronx. Brooklyn lost 68,951 taxpayers -- including 43,688 who went to Staten Island. The study also had some good news. The peak loss of New Yorkers was in 2005, when nearly 250,000 residents left the state. But last year, only 126,000 left, the lowest figure over the eight-year period.