Tongue-in-cheek ‘Unhappy New Yorkers’ website lures transplants
Miami may be locked in a serious battle to draw high-earning transplants from the Northeast, Midwest and other areas, but who’s to say it can’t be fun?
Armando Codina, executive chairman of Codina Partners; Jim Carr, a principal, along with Mr. Codina, in CC Homes; and Ron Shuffield, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty CEO, traveled to Washington, DC, and New York City a few months ago to extoll Miami’s virtues.
Mr. Shuffield said they made the case, to appreciative audiences, that the region’s climate, favorable tax policies, culture, workforce and infrastructure make for a positive change. He added that because of changes in federal tax code limiting deductions for state and local taxes, Florida, Texas, and Nevada are expected to see an influx of tax-weary transplants.
The trio hosted luncheons for 150 in Georgetown, and in Midtown Manhattan. Among their tools of persuasion: a website Mr. Codina created and called “Unhappy New Yorkers.”
“High Taxes. Rotten Weather. Outrageous Cost of Living. What’s Not to Like?” the website landing page asks.
Site visitors who click on “I’m Fed Up” are greeted by a riff on a Frank Sinatra classic, as a headline proclaims “Start spreading the news; I’m leaving today…”
They then can download a resignation letter to send to family, friends, and presumably an employer:
“New York is no longer for me. After careful thought and consideration, I’ve officially decided to leave the Big Apple to move to the true apple of my eye: Downtown Doral in Florida.
“This may not come as a surprise to you – I’m not the only New Yorker who agrees with [Governor] Cuomo that Florida is an attractive option for those unhappy with the change in the tax law. In fact, many of our friends and neighbors have already made the move to Florida. I know you won’t question my decision as it’s no secret that New York has the most expensive properties in the nation, our taxes are becoming more burdensome and Mother Nature has only grown more relentless.”
Downtown Doral is Codina Partners’ master-planned community; at buildout it will have more than 5,000 residential units (including condominiums, apartments, townhouses and single-family homes), as well as commercial space, schools, a senior living facility, urgent care center, a branch of the Miami Dade Public Library, and other amenities.
The website includes calculations of how much transplants can save because of Miami’s lower cost of living, combined with Florida’s lack of a personal income tax.
The Unhappy New Yorkers campaign launched April 15, according to the Codina Partners website. Mr. Codina christened the day on which federal tax returns and payments are due “an awakening day” for people in areas where the bite of state and local taxes is fierce.
“New York was found to have the highest overall state tax burden, according to a recent WalletHub study,” the Codina website said.