Presidents decision to change his residency, thereby avoiding New York state and city taxes, was met with approval, scorn and indifference
Donald Trumps decision to declare himself a resident of Florida instead of his native New York, thereby avoiding New Yorks high rates of state and city taxes, was greeted by the public in the Big Apple with opinions ranging from anarchy-tinged approval to envy, scorn and indifference.
Why should I care? offered New Yorker Mike Mitchell, a construction engineer, as he walked the sunny streets of lower Manhattan in a chilly breeze, a stones throw from the Statue of Liberty on Friday morning.
I dont think people should pay taxes anyway. I aspire to not pay taxes myself. I consider taxes mafia-style theft.
The president, who was raised in the citys sprawling borough of Queens before spending most of his adult life as a real estate developer at the heart of fast-paced city life and business in Manhattan, announced that he was moving his tax domicile to Florida.
There he owns his private resort club Mar-a-Lago in the wealthy community of Palm Beach and can expect to avoid New York states top tax rate of nearly 9% and New York citys top rate of nearly 4%.
Trump has never released his tax returns, either as a candidate or since becoming the Republican president of the United States after the 2016 election, thus flouting presidential convention and resisting efforts by the US Congress and New York state and city authorities to force him to disclose them.
He confirmed the decision to move his permanent residence to Florida on Twitter, saying of himself and his wife, Melania Trump, that he would be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence.
Trump has spent only 20 nights at his 58th-floor penthouse home at the Trump Tower skyscraper on Fifth Avenue in New York since becoming president. So his decision to abandon the city is largely symbolic.
But in his message, Trump said he felt mistreated by the citys political leaders.
Few have been treated worse, he said, and described his decision as the best for all concerned.
With that at least, New Yorker Virginia Doty largely agreed. Good riddance, she told said.
Good luck in Florida. Hes useless. He pays no taxes here. What do we need him for? He just trouble, and its inconvenient when he comes to town. So long. Wish you all the best.
New York political leaders shared that sentiment. Good riddance, the governor, Andrew Cuomo, tweeted. Its not like Mr. Trump paid taxes here anyway. Hes all yours, Florida.
Others were less charitable. Its disgraceful he already makes everything so that they benefit him, said paralegal Jason Winn. Hes rich. He should stay and pay his fair share and maybe more.
But some were realistic about the contribution high earners make to the citys coffers.
I know people who make a lot of money in New York also get taxed a lot more but I think if he was more responsible hed stay, said Wall Street finance worker Natalie Nakamura. But hes not hes self-interested. Thats always been pretty apparent.
Some closer to retirement age said they were thinking of doing the same thing. Florida has long been a place for the wealthy to escape the higher taxes that come with living in a city that likes to think of itself as the capital of the world.
Its about taxes, man, said insurance broker John Curley.
Why would you want to live in New York if you could retire somewhere youre not taxed? Everybody makes their own decisions. But its bad for New York because its going to miss out on his taxes.