Robert Marich writes in the latest Variety magazine about the consequences of poor public policies in blue California and New York.

LEAVING CALIFORNIA or New York and settling in a more financially advantageous place has long been a mantra of those with the means to carry out that plan. Drivers include spiraling local taxation, high cost of living and declining quality of life.

And now, with the pandemic spreading rapidly in crowded urban centers such as Los Angeles and New York City, and their surroundings, many affluent individuals and families are thinking about vacating their city abodes and fleeing to more bucolic settings, where the risk of contracting coronavirus is lower.

Business managers and bankers whose clients include showbiz royalty have seen this up close.

And it’s a trend that can snowball. “When you see some big-name celebrities being very public about leaving whatever states they’re in, that’s triggering more people to at least think about it,” says David B. Schachter, a senior VP who handles wealth management at financial services giant UBS, based in Century City.

Celebs citing local taxation as factors for actually moving residences include rock star Gene Simmons, who recently listed his Beverly Hills estate, which he’s owned since 1984, following a move to Washington state. And President Trump, who moved his legal residence to Florida from New York. Those two destination states are among nine with no state income tax. Others include celeb-magnets Nevada, Tennessee, and Texas.

It’s a situation that likely causes no surprise for my occasional correspondent, David Lesperance. He sent me the following note a few weeks ago.

Dear Mitch:

I thought I would follow-up on my last email now that the news has broken that Eric Schmidt applying for Cypriot citizenship. As an advisor to wealthy American families for over three decades, I can confidentially say that I was not at all surprised by this revelation. In fact, I have had a number of American clients acquire citizenship in EU countries like Cyprus over the last two years. Some were entitled to those citizenships through lineage, including Sephardic heritage. Those who did not happen to have the family history opted for either a) Citizenship by Investment or b) Residence by Investment which would lead to citizenship after a naturalisation period.