New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is "troubled" by the idea of begging wealthy New Yorkers to return to the city, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is doing.
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"To the point of the folks out in the Hamptons ... we don’t make decisions based on a wealthy few,” de Blasio said. “I was troubled to hear this concept.”
The Democrat also threatened to tax the rich even further if the federal government does not do more to assist the city, which is facing the worst financial crisis in decades.
Thousands of apartments were vacated as the wealthy fled the city during the pandemic to seek refuge in places such as the Hamptons and Connecticut.
“There's a lot of New Yorkers who are wealthy who are true believers in New York City and will stand and fight with us, and some may be fair-weathered friends, but they will be replaced by others,” the mayor responded to a reporter's question about keeping track of residents who have left since the pandemic began.
Cuomo on Tuesday said he is urging rich New Yorkers to return to Manhattan to offset the city's financial crisis caused by the pandemic, and he said the new coronavirus is now "under control."
Earlier this week, Cuomo detailed his pleas with the wealthy to return to New York City.
“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?’” the Democratic governor said. "We'll go to dinner, I'll buy you a drink, come over, I’ll cook.’”
Cuoma said that the wealthy aren't coming back and they are partially motivated by the fact that they do not have to pay New York City income tax surcharges, Cuomo said..
The governor has pushed back on calls to further raise taxes on the wealthy to help with the $30 billion deficit the city faces amid the pandemic-- arguing such a tax would keep the wealthy from ever returning to the city.
“Our population, one percent of the population [of New York City] pays 50 percent of the taxes. And they’re the most mobile people on the globe,” Cuomo said.
De Blasio, for his part, has pushed for more taxes on the wealthy.
“We must build our policies around working people,” he said. “If the federal government fails us we should immediately return to Albany to the discussion put a tax on wealthy New Yorkers.”
“While everyone else is suffering, you see stock markets rising, the rich getting richer. Wealthy New Yorkers, they can pay a bit more so can get through this crisis,” de Blasio continued.