In a letter to friends and acquaintances over the weekend, convicted former congressman Chris Collins said he is now a Florida resident.
Attorney John Elmore said nothing legally was keeping him in New York. Elmore said the process to gain Florida residency is actually fairly easy, particularly for someone like Collins who already owns property in the state.
“Register to vote. Register your cars. Register your driver’s license… get a driver’s license and then let the tax authority know that you plan on making Florida your permanent domicile, so it’s a very simple procedure,” he said.
In his email, Collins said he plans to be in Florida for a while as the press settles down and moves on. Elmore believes there’s likely another reason as well.
“The real savings for Chris Collins is the tax savings because New York state is one of the highest taxed states in the country and Florida is one of the least taxed states in the country,” he said.
Florida has something called the Homestead Act which protects someone’s home from being seized to pay a debt. Elmore, however, doesn’t believe that’s a factor, as the congressman reportedly still has a significant amount of personal wealth and should be able to pay even substantial fines.