Flight to Florida? Data show few Manhattanites moved permanently

Out-of-state moves increased only slightly last year

(iStock/ Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
(iStock/ Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Headline after headline made it seem like half of Manhattan had moved to Florida for good.

Chefs, celebrities and bankers alike relocated to the Sunshine State during the pandemic.

Reality check: Only a small percentage of Manhattanites relocated permanently to Florida last year. And as vaccinations amp up, many might be returning — or changing their plans to move in the first place, according to Bloomberg News.

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Only 2,246 people filed a permanent address change from Manhattan to Miami-Dade County last year, while 1,741 went to Palm Beach County. In total, they account for 9 percent of the out-of-state moves from the borough, up from 6 percent in 2019, according to U.S. Postal Service data.

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Experts say talk of a permanent exodus has been overblown. Cristobal Young, a sociology professor at Cornell University, said interstate migration has barely increased as people tend not to uproot their lives.

“They live where they became successful, where they have industry connections, employees and customers, and where they sit on nonprofit boards,” he told Bloomberg.

Florida has no state income tax and New York’s is among the nation’s highest, but changing tax residency from the Empire State is no simple matter.

Still, even a few moves can have a large impact on New York City. The top 1 percent of New Yorkers paid $4.9 billion in local income taxes in 2018, accounting for 42.5 percent of the total collected, according to the city’s Independent Budget Office.

[Bloomberg News] — Sasha Jones