Proposed Stock-Transfer Tax Could Send NYSE Packing

Two professional football teams left New York for another state – but the New York Stock Exchange? That is a possibility if the Empire State imposes a transfer tax on stock sales, according to the exchange’s president.

In a Tuesday op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, NYSE President Stacey Cunningham said she and 25 other representatives of New York’s securities industry sent a letter to state legislative leaders warning against the unintended consequences of imposing such a tax.

“The New York Stock Exchange belongs in New York,” Cunningham said. “If Albany lawmakers get their way, however, the center of the global financial industry may need to find a new home.”

New York state lawmakers introduced a bill that would tax certain financial transactions. Although state revenue has suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed new transaction tax seemed to have little support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo or his officials.

In January, state budget director Robert Mujica said a lot of ideas around such financial taxes “haven’t been fleshed out,” according to a transcript provided to Reuters by an official in the New York State Division of the Budget, per the New York Post.

A financial tax was proposed last year in New Jersey, where many exchanges host their servers. Mujica said exchanges quickly mobilized to temporarily move their employees and activity outside of the state.

“If we increase the tax like that, you mobilize people, potentially just move your transactions and your servers to another part of the country where those taxes don’t exist,” said Mujica, who noted the pandemic had shown people can do business anywhere.

A NYSE representative declined to comment further on Cunningham’s article.

The New York Jets and Giants of the NFL left the state years ago and now play their home games at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

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