LARGER IMAGE: The New York Exodus | opinion

Kim and I, like others from the frigid Northeast, look forward to a winter escape of sorts to the Sunshine State. It seems that many New Yorkers also find Florida to be a fairly desirable travel destination – albeit in a more permanent way.

While New York has a great “I Love New York” ad campaign, for me it’s more like “I like New York”, although I expect to remain based there if I ever (not likely) retire from photojournalism .

According to the US Census Bureau, from July 2021 to July 2022, New York state net lost 365,000 people, about 2% of its total population, who moved elsewhere. The majority went to Florida, where that state’s population increased by over 243,000.

The ongoing exodus of people is why New York recently lost one of its seats in Congress.

While we’re not relocating and just visitors, many others find lower real estate prices, a better cost of living, and most importantly, New York’s amazingly high tax rates as motivating factors. The most well-known tax advantage in Florida is that residents are not subject to any statewide income taxes.

In short, in a ranking of states with the highest total tax burden — taking into account property taxes, individual income taxes, and total sales and use taxes — New York ranks highest with a total tax burden of 12.97%. Florida ranks 47th with an estimated total tax burden of 6.56%.

We were in a department store in Daytona Beach when I saw a guy wearing a t-shirt with GENESEO on it. I told the man that Kim’s daughter lives in Livonia. Someone in another hallway heard me and called out, “I’m from Syracuse,” and yet another let us know that she was from the Binghamton area. Then, while I was at the ocean in Daytona Beach with my dog ​​Grover, I met Pumie Carrasquillo (pictured). As a teenager she had spent some time in Lyons and Clyde of all places.

Like some of the people I portray in this column, she is a kind of nomadic soul who has had a difficult life in some ways.

Pumie was born in Syracuse and sadly grew up in an abusive household. In sixth grade, she found herself in foster care, temporarily living with relatives. It was in Lyons and Clyde that she lived during this period of her life.

She became a runaway at age 15 and lived the struggles that came with it for many years.

Pumie is now 51 years old and has three grown children who she raised in the Pulaski neighborhood of New York. She is currently rehabilitating a home in Sandy Creek and hopes to use the proceeds to move to Florida if she sells it.

As a result of multiple back and neck surgeries, some resulting from childhood trauma, Pumie is currently living on disability pensions, income from crafts she has created and savings she has accumulated.

Her life path is now one on which she enjoys helping others with often simple things. For example, she met some people who needed a ride to North Carolina but didn’t have the money, so she planned to drive them there in the coming days.

Pumie now chooses to be an example of love and giving to others. She feels like she lived through most of the pain of her early life and let go and entered a kind of emptiness, she says.

She feels that “God gave me life and love, so it’s up to me to give to others.”