- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2018

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo argued Tuesday that residents are leaving the state in search of warmer weather, not for better economic opportunities.

After giving a speech at the Business Council of New York State’s annual conference at Lake George, the Democratic governor told reporters that the trend of New Yorkers moving south was “climate-based” or “based on personal reasons,” not economic ones, The Associated Press reported.

“We have more jobs than ever. Our taxes are lower than ever,” Mr. Cuomo said. “Diminishing population in upstate New York is not new. People were leaving upstate New York because they had to in the past. Young people were leaving because parents were saying, ‘You better leave. There are no economic opportunities here.

“That is no longer the case,” he said. “Somebody wants to move to Florida because they want to move to Florida. God bless them. They want to fish. They want the warm weather. God bless them. But we were chasing people from this state. We are now attracting people to this state.”

A study last year showed that New York led the nation in net migration to other states, and the population continues to grow at a snail’s pace. Marc Molinaro, Mr. Cuomo’s Republican opponent in the gubernatorial race, said he wants to solve the problem by reducing property taxes by 30 percent.

“We are witnessing entire communities hollow out,” Mr. Molinaro said of the population decline, AP reported. “New Yorkers are voting with their feet.”

Mr. Cuomo on Tuesday dismissed Mr. Molinaro’s plan as “a sham” that can’t be done without raising taxes on the “state side” or cutting funding for education.

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