Many New Yorkers fled the city at the height of the pandemic, the wealthy heading to their weekend homes in the Hamptons, upstate or in Connecticut, while others rented homes outside the city – leaving thousands of apartments across the city empty.
The coronavirus has persisted for six months and is not showing any signs of easing, while a vaccine still seems at least several months away.
“I literally talk to people all day long who are now in their Hamptons house who also lived here, or in their Hudson Valley house or in their Connecticut weekend house, and I say, ‘You gotta come back, when are you coming back?’” Cuomo said during a press conference earlier this week.
"'We'll go to dinner, I'll buy you a drink, come over I’ll cook’,” Cuomo said describing his pleas with wealthy New Yorkers.
“They're not coming back right now. And you know what else they're thinking? ‘If I stay there, I pay a lower income tax,’ because they don't pay the New York City surcharge,” Cuomo said.
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The governor has also been fighting back against recent calls to raise taxes on the wealthy to help with the $30 billion deficit the city has incurred from the pandemic – arguing this will be the nail in the coffin that prompts the wealthy to hold off on returning to the city.
“Our population, one percent of the population [of N.Y.C.] pays 50 percent of the taxes. And they’re the most mobile people on the globe,” Cuomo said.
He urged congress to reject any bill that “hurts New York again,” and called on lawmakers to include more financial aid in the upcoming stimulus bill expected to pass through the Senate potentially as soon as this week.
“If they don’t make this bill right, frankly, they shouldn’t pass it because it will be the last bill,” Cuomo said.
“Don’t vote for the bill,” he added.