To debt-ridden New York City, the big Wall Street investment firms have always looked good for another tax touch. Since 1948, Wall Street firms have been paying 2/5 of 1% on their gross income in taxes. On July 1, the bite was raised to 4/5 of 1%.

Last week it looked as if the city has finally bitten too hard. Rather than pay the extra taxes, Hugh W. Long & Co. Inc. and the Investors Management Co. Inc., which run four investment funds, moved their offices and $230 million in combined assets from their Wall Street skyscrapers to...

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