Gov. Andrew Cuomo is begging wealthy New Yorkers to return to the city to save it from economic ruin while fighting off calls from other lawmakers to raise their taxes, a move he fears could permanently drive the top 1 percent out of the city.
Many flocked to their second homes in the Hamptons or upstate, while others rented or bought new properties, abandoning their expensive city apartments.
Now, six months on with no end to the national nightmare in sight, many are laying down permanent roots. While New York has overcome its battle against the virus, the rest of the country – where lockdown rules have been far more relaxed – is seeing a resurgence.
It is preventing New York City from resuming its normal activity because Cuomo fears a second spike in cases will happen if just one person from a worse-affected state travels in and infects residents again.
At a press conference on Monday, he said of the wealthiest residents who have long left the city: ‘I literally talk to people all day long who are 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?”
“‘We’ll go to dinner, I’ll buy you a drink. “‘Come over, I’ll cook.”
‘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,’ he said.
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A man washes a Mercedes G- Class on a deserted street on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Many of New York City’s wealthiest residents left the city in March and have not returned
Retail on the UES has taken a hit along with the rest of the city. The state of NY is now staring down the barrel of a $30billion deficit over the next two years
It is not unusual for Manhattan to clear out for the month of August, when temperatures between the skyscrapers soar and send many fleeing to Long Island’s beaches or further afield.
But this summer, with the ongoing lack of appeal in the city, the likelihood that people will come back in the fall is shrinking.
What is making matters worse are the increasing calls from other lawmakers to boost taxes on the city’s highest earners to try to plug the $30billion deficit that was left by the pandemic.
Cuomo said he is resisting the idea, that will send the already transient group of taxpayers running for the hills.
‘A single per cent of New York’s population pays half of the state’s taxes and they’re the most mobile people on the globe,’ he said.
He wants the federal government to step in with help in the final stimulus bill that is due to pass soon, and has warned that unless more financial aid is given, the country is on track for a ‘real recession’.
‘If they don’t make this bill right, frankly, they shouldn’t pass it because it will be the last bill.
‘If this bill does not have funding for state and local government you will see a real recession, not just in New York but across the country [by] forcing state and local governments to lay off people,’ he said.
His comments on Monday came before Bill de Blasio, the city’s mayor, took the extraordinary step of announcing checkpoints would be going up all over the city.
The checkpoints are in place to trace anyone who enters the city from one of the 35 lists that are on Cuomo’s mandatory quarantine list.
They are to identify people traveling into the city from one of the 35 states on Cuomo’s mandatory quarantine list; Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.
Meanwhile in the Hamptons, stores and restaurants are enjoying bustling trade from the well-heeled city dwellers who have fled there. Pictured, the village of Sag Harbor
FACEBOOK ANNOUNCES FIRST MAJOR REINVESTMENT FOR NYC
Facebook has announced the first major reinvestment in New York City real estate since the coronavirus lockdown Monday by signing a lease in the landmark Farley building.
The social media giant has leased all of the 730,000-square-foot office space at the 1912 Beaux Arts former post office in Manhattan, in a deal that marks a major expansion of the company’s business operations in the city.
According to AMNY, the move could boost the number of Facebook employees in NYC to 10,000.
It comes as much of the Big Apple’s office space lies empty with many employees still working from home and wealthy New Yorkers having fled the city.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio heralded the company’s investment in the city as ‘part of our economic rebirth’, despite smaller businesses in the Big Apple continuing to go out of businesses post-lockdown
It’s unclear how the quarantine will be enforced beyond people answering texts every day from the department of health if they are stopped and asked for their phone numbers.
Cuomo is furious that the president has not issued guidance for the rest of the country.
He says that because Trump – who earlier this week responded ‘it is what it is’ when presented with the fact that thousands of Americans are still dying – remains in denial over how serious the virus is.
New York, he said, had done the work to squash the infection rate over the last six months but because no other states are doing the same, it still can’t return to its former glory.
‘Its so frustrating that … six months later … we are still talking about this on a such a level of ignorance and denial and are still so woefully unprepared,’ he said.
‘Facts are facts. We see the numbers going up …
‘We see experts saying, “We need to reset,” but the reset has to start at the top.
‘We have confusion, we have chaos. I think the president has to stand up and say what he didn’t say six month ago.
‘That COVID is serious.
‘That we can’t deny it. That it’s not political, and that it isn’t going to go away magically.
‘That the way he handled it was wrong.
‘It has to start with the president,’ he said.
Unless there is a national plan, Cuomo said the virus will continue to bounce from state to state.
‘You’ll see a ping-pong of this virus across the country unless you have a national strategy … Giving it back and forth to each other like family members,’ he fumed.
While Cuomo is begging New Yorkers to come back, those who have stayed in the city are outraged by his continuously harsh rules.
An analysis of data reveals that robberies are also on the rise in other affluent New York City neighborhoods – despite the fact thefts are down citywide – which is not likely to draw residents back
A whopping 80 percent of some commercial real estate tenants didn’t pay rent in April and May which takes a huge chunk out of the city’s tax revenue base. Retail has resumed but it remains unclear just how many stores have been able to reopen
Popular destinations among so-called ‘coronavirus refugees’ include Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, the Hamptons, Hudson Valley, the Jersey Shore and southern Florida
NYC MILLIONAIRES FLEE FOR SMALLER TOWNS
- Nearly 420,000 New York City residents left between March 1 and May 1
- Neighborhoods such as the Upper East Side and SoHo saw populations drop by at least 40%
- People mostly fled to Long Island, upstate New York like the Catskills and Florida, all of which are popular summer home destinations
- Residents who left were in neighborhoods made up of mainly whites with household incomes of more than $100,000 per year
Most of Cuomo’s lockdown strategies have been embraced, but a recent decision to force bars to sell ‘substantial’ amounts of food to customers dining outdoors has sparked outrage.
It was prompted by a small number of the city’s bars and restaurants flouting social distancing rules to allow large crowds to gather – a clear COVID catalyst.
Rather than single in on those specific bars, Cuomo is now forcing everyone to serve large dishes with drinks which is putting the establishments that do comply with the rules in an impossible position.
Not all of them have kitchens, and customers – many of whom have seen their own disposable income reduced – do not want to pay for an entire meal when looking to go somewhere for a drink.
To get around the issue, some bars started selling $1 Cuomo fries or bags of peanuts.
Cuomo responded by telling them they had to serve more substantial amounts of food.
There was a huge exodus of residents from New York City at the start of the pandemic which was later compounded by the chaotic riots and looting that were triggered by George Floyd’s death.
The state’s tax base took an unprecedented beating with the sheer number of tenants who failed to pay rent on time or at all, and with almost no retail or dining occurring for the best part of three months.
New York’s wealthy Upper East Side reports a shocking 286% increase in robberies – with armed gunmen holding up residents just feet from the homes of billionaires
New York City‘s wealthiest neighborhood is grappling with a spike in armed robberies, new data reveals.
Manhattan’s Upper East Side has seen 27 robberies over the past four weeks – a 286 percent increase when compared to the same period last year, according to the NYPD.
Alarmingly, a significant number of those have involved locals being held up at gunpoint.
For the entirety of 2019, the Upper East Side only reported four armed robberies. This year, 14 have already been reported.
The figures are causing alarm in the ritzy neighborhood, where residents boast an average annual income of $322,400.
The NYPD is pleading with members of the public to come forward with information on recent shootings in the Upper East Side
The Upper East Side is also known for its high concentration of billionaires – and some of the crimes have taken place just feet from their lavish residences.
Last weekend, three teenagers held up man at gunpoint on the corner of East 65th St and Lexington Ave before making off with his wallet.
According to Fox New, financier Henry Kravis – who has a net worth north of $6.5 billion – lives just a ‘stone’s throw away’.
The trio of thieves struck again a short time later on East 84th St and Fifth Ave, snatching a woman’s cell phone. Billionaires John Paulson and Glenn Dubin reside close by.
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea described the current crisis as ‘challenging’
Cops later apprehend the teens – two aged 16 and one aged 17 – and seized a loaded gun.
Meanwhile, an analysis of data reveals that robberies are also on the rise in other affluent New York City neighborhoods – despite the fact thefts are down citywide.
The NYPD’s 1st Precinct – which patrols the posh SoHo and TriBeCa neighborhoods -says robberies were up 175 percent in July when compared to the same month last year.
Meanwhile, the wealthy West Village – where stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Anderson Cooper bunk down – saw a 50 percent spike in robberies.
Across the water in gentrified Williamsburg, Brooklyn, there was a 40 percent surge in thefts.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the NYPD released its comprehensive crime figures for the month of July 2020, showing shootings and murders were up on the same time last year.
Fifty-four murders were reported citywide – an increase of 20 percent.
Burglaries soared by 21 percent, while shootings were up a staggering 17 percent in comparison with July 2019.
NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea described the current crisis as ‘challenging’.
The crime increase comes after Mayor Bill de Blasio cut the NYPD’s funding by more than $1 billion following weeks of anti-police protests.
‘Amid the ongoing challenges of these times, the NYPD’s commitment to public safety never wavers,’ Shea stated on Monday
‘Our men and women officers represent the best of the policing profession and work every day alongside those they serve in an ongoing joint mission to protect life, prevent crime and build safer neighborhoods for everyone across our great city.’