In the midst of a heated court battle with Manhattan over his tax returns, President Donald Trump announced Thursday night that he has changed his permanent residency from New York to Florida, a state with an "upside-down tax code" that disproportionately benefits the wealthy.
"I will be making Palm Beach, Florida, our Permanent Residence," Trump tweeted after the New York Times reported the residency change. "I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will, but unfortunately, despite the fact that I pay millions of dollars in city, state, and local taxes each year, I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state. Few have been treated worse."
There is no way to know how much Trump paid in taxes in New York as he has refused to release his tax returns, breaking with years of presidential tradition.
Legal experts and lawmakers were quick to ask whether Trump's residency change has anything to do with his efforts to stop New York officials from obtaining his personal and business tax returns. Cyrus Vance Jr., Manhattan's district attorney, issued a subpoena for eight years of the president's state and federal tax documents in September.
Was there ever any doubt that the tax dodger-in-chief would declare domicile in Florida?
— Seth Hanlon (@SethHanlon) November 1, 2019
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) October 31, 2019
"Donald Trump doesn't want the state of New York to see his taxes—I wonder why," tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. "Let's call this out for what it is: Corruption, plain and simple."
Journalist Adrian Carrasquillo reported that "White House officials declined to say why Mr. Trump changed his primary residence, but a person close to the president said the reasons were primarily for tax purposes."
As the Times noted, "Changing his primary residence could carry significant tax implications for Mr. Trump, although how much is unclear without seeing his returns."
"But in changing his residence to Florida, he would most likely be avoiding New York state's top tax rate of nearly 9 percent and New York City's top rate of nearly 4 percent," according to the Times. "Leaving New York could also save money for Mr. Trump's heirs at the time of his death. New York imposes a top estate tax rate of 16 percent for estates larger than $10.1 million."
New York lawmakers were not exactly sad about the president's announcement.
"Good riddance," tweeted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "It’s not like Donald Trump paid taxes here anyway... He's all yours, Florida."