High Taxes Driving People to Move

Interesting article.  Luckily, Pennsylvania has company, and we’re not even really the worst.  People are fleeing Michigan in droves.  Followed by New Jersey.  Pennsylvania is 42nd in terms of percentage of outbound moves.  California has lost the most in sheer numbers. Why?

“When California faced a Mount Everest-sized $14 billion deficit in 2003, one of the major causes for the red ink was the stampede of millionaire households from the state,” Laffer and Moore note in their report. “Out of the 25,000 or so seven-figure-income families, more than 5,000 left in the early 2000s, and the loss of their tax payments accounted for about half the budget hole.”

People don’t like high taxes?  Who knew?

The Golden State also has tarnished itself among less-wealthy persons. Moore said migration trends based on moving company data show California had the second-highest domestic population outflow of any state in 2005 “despite the beautiful weather, beaches, and mountains.”

California budget officials are predicting another $14 billion deficit this year, although the state has some of the highest tax burdens in the nation. The state budget has ballooned from $79.8 billion in fiscal 2004-05 to $102.3 billion this fiscal year, a jump of 28 percent.

Makes you wonder if Californians were really better off voting for Arnold, who has ruled more like a Democrat than a Republican, than they would have been with Cruz Bustamante.  The California political establishment likes big government, and those that don’t are voting with their feet.

Pennsylvania is in trouble too.  We have a particularly difficult time keeping young people in this state, enough that it was a campaign issue for Rendell.  It’s amazing when I go to DC, the difference in demographics.  Bitter is one of the older persons in her workplace, and she’s seven years younger than me.  At 34, I’m one of the youngest here at mine, and it’s been the same story at every workplace since I left college.  People my age got their degrees and went elsewhere.  Same with my shooting club.  You don’t see too many guys there under 50, let alone 40.  I worry that young people aren’t taking to the traditional shooting sports, but then I think “Maybe the reason you notice this is because there just aren’t any young people left in your state?”  If that’s the case, we’re in a lot of trouble.  I suspect with Pennsylvania, it’s mostly a lack of opportunity driving young people away.  Why are there few opportunities here?  Because Pennsylvania has among the highest corporate taxes in the country, and it’s a horrible drain on businesses.

12 thoughts on “High Taxes Driving People to Move”

  1. from the article: “States with the lowest tax, spending, and regulatory burdens win the competitiveness contest. These are primarily in the South and Southwest regions of the nation.”

    Sounds like traditional conservative principles on taxes and spending. I’m curious about the demographics on the percentage of conservatives vs. liberals leaving these bastions of socialism like California and New Jersey…

  2. we have tons of large corporations, law firms, banks etc. here in Delaware, but that’s because we have very favorable laws regarding business regulation & corporate taxes. If the banks and other corporations left the Delaware economy would tank, and I’d likely be out of a job.

    People also come here from all over the northeast / mid-atlantic for tax-free shopping. Who knew people don’t want to pay %8 sales tax.

  3. Sebastian, I should also point out that the lack of young people you see in PA makes perfect sense. We, as a group are the most likely and most able to pack up and leave due to burdensome laws & taxes. It’s much harder to jump ship when you have an established career, home, and family.

  4. That’s very true Mike. I would find it hard even now to pick up and move when everyone I know professionally is in this area.

  5. If I remember my Simpsons correctly, next there will be a “leaving-town tax”.

  6. Arnold was hamstrung and stymied at every turn doing simply rational things – Cruz would have had the insane support of the insane for completely insane acts, with the complete complicity of the Media-arm. The structural problem in California is that there is no accountability by the legislature, since their districts are secure holdings of the Party in Power – individuals who screw-up really badly can be cast-out as needed to appease the Media and the Masses in show-trials while the core incompetencies and defects remain.

  7. To some degree I know that you can stack the deck with gerrymandering districts, but it can’t overcome a pretty overwhelming desire by voters for change if they really want it.

    The question then becomes, why are Californians so willing to tolerate one-party-rule when the rule of that party is royally screwing up a state that should pretty automatically have one of the strongest economies in the country?

  8. @Ian: Just do it, cross the Delaware and head west. There is no future for conservatives in NJ.

    I moved to Bucks Co. last summer, but still work in NJ. My primary reasons for moving to PA were lower property taxes for a much bigger property and gun rights. Hopefully my vote will make a difference, too.

  9. My problem is, outside of the nj.gov, I like it in NJ. And I say that as someone who moved to NJ as an adult, after having lived in northern VA (which I also like).

    I more or less have to move, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

  10. Meanwhile, you have to love this from California:

    Democratic legislative leaders declared Tuesday that they are prepared to delay the state budget this year if that’s what it takes to get tax increases, which they called the only reasonable solution to California’s multibillion-dollar shortfall.

  11. Well, I cannot say as though the taxes here in Kalifornistan are my primary reason for vacating the state within the next 9-or-so months, but they are definitely one reason of many.

    The fact is, I do not want to be punished for being successful – assuming I ever am. And while taxation is basically impossible to (legally) avoid, other states are better at it… or at least more polite about taking your money.

    There is just something absurdly wrong about a state with already rather-high taxes being unable to balance its own books, and coming to the conclusion that the solution is higher taxes. Oh. Wait. That is one of the Pillars of the Democratic Party. Sorry. Forgot.

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