Limbaugh's leaving New York, and everyone's happy

The radio host says a new state income tax hike is the last straw, and that he's moving his alternate studio -- Jon Stewart's glad to see him go.

Published April 2, 2009 10:30PM (EDT)

Rush Limbaugh is leaving New York -- and at least a couple prominent New Yorkers are more than happy to see him go.

Limbaugh says he's moving his alternate studio out of New York City, where he also owns a condo, because of a tax hike -- known as the "millionaire's tax," though its effect is broader than that -- intended to help the state make up its budget deficit. (The majority of the time, Limbaugh lives and works in Florida.)

"Folks, it's axiomatic: when you raise taxes on an activity, you reduce that activity. People start doing that activity less. In this case: working," Limbaugh said on his show earlier this week. "I'm going to look for an alternative studio somewhere outside New York... I'll sell my condominium. I'm going to get out of there totally, 'cause this is just absurd, and it's ridiculous -- and it isn't going to work. It's punishing the achievers for the mistakes and the lack of discipline on the part of a bunch of corrupt politicians that have run that city and state into the ground for I don't know how many years -- and I, for one, am not going to take the blame for it."

On "The Daily Show" Wednesday night, host Jon Stewart responded to the news of Limbaugh's impending move, saying, "For years, New Yorkers have done everything in our power to get this guy to leave town. We've passed laws making it tougher for hot dog vendors to sell along the streets, we hold gay pride parades -- there are barely any gay people in the city, but we thought it'd make him uncomfortable, so we shipped them in... We knew he was in to drugs, so we cleaned up Times Square." (Video's below.)

And after a speech he gave on Thursday, New York Gov. David Paterson -- a bit of a joker himself -- cracked, "If I knew that would be the result, I would’ve thought about the taxes earlier.”

Limbaugh makes approximately $38 million per year, and says he did about 15 shows from New York last year. Based on those numbers, I did some very rough calculations, and by my count, the tax hike will cost the radio host roughly $60,000 per year -- or .15 percent of his salary. Considering that the increase is only scheduled to last for three years, seems to me like he might actually save money by not picking up stakes and building a whole new studio in another state halfway across the country, but hey, what do I know?

Speaking of Limbaugh, if you didn't read it yesterday, Salon just published an article by his cousin Julie about what it's like to be related to him and share the Limbaugh name. Definitely worth reading.


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By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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