Trump Announces Floridian Residence Change

The Sunshine State Just Got A Little Darker

Annie Sinert, Scarlet Staff

Every year, more and more people move to Florida. At first glance, this decision seems fairly straightforward, as the Sunshine State is known for its year-round warm weather and white-sand beaches. While this may be a driving factor for many, the tax benefits the state has to offer is incredibly convincing for others.

Unlike many states in the Northeast, Florida does not have income or estate tax. Individuals who have declared their primary residence somewhere in the state save more money than those living in places like Massachusetts or New York where residents have grown accustomed to paying large sums in taxes every year. This fairly rare tax break can be incredibly beneficial to those in lower economic classes. Those who live paycheck to paycheck can save thousands each year which, in turn, can allow them to use that money in ways that better benefit themselves and their families.

But what about those in upper economic classes who don’t have to worry about finding the money to put food on the table? What about people like President Donald Trump who have a net worth of ~$3.1 billion dollars and could easily choose to never work another day in their life?

In early November of 2019, Donald Trump, a lifelong resident of New York City, announced that he would be moving his primary residence to his resort, Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida. In a series of tweets, he wrote that he had “been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and the state” of New York and that “few have been treated worse” than him. This subtle jab is in relation to the ongoing lawsuits concerning his taxes. He also claimed in his tweets that he paid “millions of dollars in city, state and local taxes each year,” though there is no way to fact check this statement as he has repeatedly refused to release his tax records.

Over the past few years, there have been a multitude of allegations claiming that Trump had avoided paying his taxes, therefore alleging that he had committed a federal crime. He and his associates have denied these claims but have neglected to provide any conclusive evidence. Though the question of whether or not a sitting president can be indicted is still controversial, there is no way to truly confirm or deny these allegations without his tax records.

While Trump’s many business connections within the city may be discouraged by his change of residence, many New York officials did not share the same poignancy. Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, tweeted “Good riddance. It’s not like Mr. Trump paid taxes here anyway.” White House officials have declined to say why exactly Mr. Trump changed his primary residence, but a source close to the president told The Times that it was primarily for tax-related purposes. Had he actually been paying taxes in New York or not, he will no longer have to worry about them, or rather, worry about avoiding them.

What Trump is doing is not different from what a lot of wealthy individuals from high-tax states are doing. Millionaires from New York can save more than $1 million in taxes by relocating to Florida or other low-tax states. But what happens when they move and their former states are no longer getting that money to pay for things like infrastructure and education? Can we really allow the wealthy to avoid paying taxes? With poverty levels ever increasing, can we really justify giving millionaires an easy way to escape paying money that can improve quality of life for the less fortunate?

Despite what your personal answers to these questions may be, it is becoming increasingly clear that Trump is hiding something. With his secrecy around his tax reports along with his sudden decision to move from New York, his life-long home, something is definitely not adding up. He’s all yours, Florida.