Voting With Their Wallets

That Americans are migrating away from high-tax, unionized states and toward low-tax, non-unionized states is well known and was well documented by the 2010 census. But the Tax Foundation has added a financial dimension to the story by adding up the personal income that has fled from blue New York to red Texas:

The Lone Star State is scooping up more than just our congressional seats — some $846 million in personal income shifted from New York to Texas in an eight-year period during the last decade, according to an analysis of IRS tax returns.
Texas, which has no state or local income taxes and an enviably low cost of living, has been steadily poaching New Yorkers since the ’90s, according to data from the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research organization based in Washington.
From 2000 to 2008, more than $846 million in personal income moved from New York to Texas — with more than $212 million leaving in 2006 and ’07.

Of course, Texas wasn’t the only state to which overtaxed New Yorkers fled, nor was New York the Lone Star State’s only source of refugees:

New York lost an estimated $38.4 billion in personal income to other states in that same time period, while Texas gained roughly $12.2 billion from migration.

For those who haven’t yet gotten the point, the CEO of the Business Council of New York State explains:

“People aren’t moving down to those Sunbelt states for the weather,” said Kenneth Adams, president and CEO of the Business Council of New York State.
“It’s three things: taxes, taxes and taxes.”

Both New York and California refuse to acknowledge what has happened to their once-prosperous populations. No doubt that is partly due to the out-migration of many of those states’ more sensible citizens. Given the results of November’s elections, it appears likely that both California and New York are doomed to a cycle of decline, culminating in bankruptcy.


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