Goldman CEO warns NYC must ‘keep itself attractive’ for business

Goldman CEO and part-time DJ David Solomon warned New York City leaders not to take the Big Apple’s reputation as a center of business for granted, saying that the city must keep its cost of living, tax rate and business incentives competitive.

“New York has to be aware that there are good choices, and it’s got to keep itself attractive,” Solomon said in comments published Tuesday that were made at a Financial Times conference.

“Incentives matter, taxes matter, cost of living matters.”

Solomon added that the most dire predictions made as the COVID-19 pandemic slammed New York City last year have proven to be wrong and that the city is “not going away.”

But, he added, it’s “also not guaranteed for any urban center that you have a permanent place in the world,” offering Detroit and its once-prominent stature as the home of auto manufacturing as one example.

The pandemic spurred some high-profile and wealthy residents of New York to flee the city early in the pandemic when Gotham was the epicenter of the US outbreak.

NYC pandemic
Some people chose to leave NYC for more cost-effective options during the worst of the pandemic.
Getty Images

A handful of hedge funds moved their headquarters to Florida, where there were fewer public health restrictions and no income tax, and big banks, including Goldman, expanded operations in the Sunshine State.

In more recent months, a push to hike taxes even more on wealthy residents of the state and city have unnerved some high-paid executives in the financial industry.

New York state has a top-end income tax of 10.9 percent on the highest-earning residents, on top of New York City’s 3.9 percent income tax on the top bracket. That’s on top of the federal income tax of 37 percent for the biggest earners.

Solomon’s warning for the city comes as Eric Adams prepares to take over as mayor next month.

Adams has vowed to make the city more business-friendly by, among other things, limiting bureaucratic business requirements.

He’s also made a point of embracing the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry, saying he will take on Miami and make New York City “the center of the cryptocurrency industry.”