With the debate over additional epidemic aid to the states simmering, Florida senator Rick Scott and New York governor Andrew Cuomo are taking a special interest in one another.
Senator Scott used to be Governor Scott. He took office in Florida in 2011, three days after Cuomo did in New York. The two states had a lot in common at the time: Both had been hammered by the financial crisis, both had lost a lot of jobs during that crisis, and—this part is sometimes forgotten—both had seen significant numbers of residents moving elsewhere.
After having led the country in net domestic migration (meaning people moving from one part of the United States to another) for years, Florida had slipped behind Texas in 2006—and by 2008, it was losing population to other states. Both New York and Florida began to make modest population recoveries in 2010, but New York’s petered out. Between 2010 and 2019, its net domestic migration decline was almost 1.4 million people. Florida has kept growing. It surpassed New York as the third-most-populous state in 2014. New York is probably going to lose a House seat after the next census; it already is losing part of its tax base to Florida, as even Governor Cuomo has been forced to admit.
How bad is it? New York officials currently are scrutinizing dentists’ records and veterinarians’ bills to make sure that former New Yorkers who have relocated to Florida aren’t exceeding their quota of New York days. “If you’re a high earner in New York and you move to Florida, your chances of a residency audit are 100 percent,” Barry Horowitz of WithumSmith+Brown, an accounting firm, told CNBC.