Sometimes the news is surprising. Sometimes, it isn’t.
In an example of the latter case, new IRS data show successful Americans fleeing high-tax states and heading to lower-tax states to make a new home. The IRS figures in question show which states have gained and lost total income due to the migration of citizens between states. The data are for 2020, the Wall Street Journal reports, and “shows that migration from high- to low-tax states surged amid pandemic lockdowns and a shift to remote work.”
Here are the five states that lost the most net income due to migration:
- New York
- New Jersey
Here are the five states that gained the most net income due to migration:
- North Carolina
Notice a pattern yet?
The states that are bleeding high-earners are among the highest tax states in the country, while the five seeing the biggest gains tend to have lower taxes. Indeed, three of the top five states don’t impose an income tax at all!
It’s always been the case that Americans can vote with their feet and often reject high taxes. But this trend has rapidly accelerated over the last few years, for several reasons.
For one, the pandemic permanently converted millions of peoples’ jobs to remote work, making it easier for them to relocate to lower-tax, more affordable parts of the country.
Secondly, the GOP’s 2017 tax reform legislation weakened (but did not eliminate) a crony tax loophole that used to give residents of high-tax states a subsidy on their federal taxes, making it easier for them to suffer the burden. But now that they’re responsible for more of the burden of their own state’s taxes, they’re seemingly less willing to stay put.
Funny how that works…
Newsflash to Democratic state lawmakers: People don’t like high taxes, especially in return for failing public schools and crappy public services. If Americans are free to vote with their feet, they’ll reject these policies time and time again.
How much worse does it have to get before y’all take the hint?