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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oregon's Millionaires' Tax Drives Millionaires Out of State

Oregon Wall Street Journal editorial, Ducking Higher Taxes: Oregon's Vanishing Millionaires:

Oregon raised its income tax on the richest 2% of its residents last year to fix its budget hole, but now the state treasury admits it collected nearly one-third less revenue than the bean counters projected. ...

In 2009 the state legislature raised the tax rate to 10.8% on joint-filer income of between $250,000 and $500,000, and to 11% on income above $500,000. Only New York City's rate is higher. Oregon's liberal voters ratified the tax increase on individuals and another on businesses in January of this year, no doubt feeling good about their "shared sacrifice."

Congratulations. Instead of $180 million collected last year from the new tax, the state received $130 million. ...

One reason revenues are so low is that about one-quarter of the rich tax filers seem to have gone missing. The state expected 38,000 Oregonians to pay the higher tax, but only 28,000 did. Funny how that always happens. These numbers are in line with a Cascade Policy Institute study, based on interstate migration patterns, predicting that the tax surcharge would lead to 80,000 fewer wealthy tax filers in Oregon over the next decade. ...

The biggest loss of revenues came from capital gains receipts. The new 11% top tax rate applies to stock and asset sales, which means that Oregonians now pay virtually the highest capital gains tax in North America. Instead of $3.5 billion of capital gains in 2009, there was only $2 billion to tax—43% less. Successful entrepreneurs like Nike owner Phil Knight don't get rich by being fools with their money. They don't sell tens of millions of dollars of assets when capital gains taxes go up. ...

All of this is an instant replay of what happened in Maryland in 2008 when the legislature in Annapolis instituted a millionaire tax. There roughly one-third of the state's millionaire households vanished from the tax rolls after rates went up.

If Salem officials want to find where the millionaires went, they might start the search in Texas, the state that leads the nation in job creation—and has a top income and capital gains tax rate 11 percentage points lower than Oregon's.

Update: For contrary views, see:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2010/12/oregons-millionaires-tax-drives-millionaires-out-of-state.html

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Comments

To quote Gomer Pyle, USMC, "surprise, surprise, surprise." You mean people don't like to pay higher taxes? Who woulda thunk?

Posted by: Ed D | Dec 21, 2010 5:19:24 PM

Any chance this and other similar results could be used to put some actual numbers to the notions of 'static scaling' and 'dynamic scaling'? Obviously people change their behavior (and leave) in response to incentives, but some metrics would be nice, if only for better prediction of how much a measure/tax increase would actually likely be expected to raise.

Posted by: Jehu | Dec 21, 2010 7:59:55 PM

Why such a drastic move to TX? How about instead jump over to Washington State, live in Vancouver (on the border - 20 min drive to Portland), and do all of your shopping in Oregon. No income taxes (WA) and no sales taxes (OR). Sounds like an excellent plan and it won't piss off the wife. Every client who plans to move to avoid tax hikes also has to figure out how to convince the spouse to move too.

Posted by: Donna | Dec 21, 2010 10:41:56 PM

I make "only" ~$120k AGI, and I pay almost as much in OR state taxes as I did in Fed taxes.
I am looking at moving my investments out of state.
I would pull a "politician's residence" (i.e. a mail stop in a desirable state), but I need residence for my kids' school.

Posted by: wikiwiki | Dec 21, 2010 10:57:16 PM

Of course the goal here in Oregon is not "job creation" but keeping "Portland Weird".
You can create jobs if they're "green jobs" but anything other than that is capitalist exploitation.

Posted by: wikiwiki | Dec 21, 2010 11:00:28 PM

Or, maybe the reason less tax was collected on capital gains was .... there were fewer capital gains to be had?

How about a comparison to a state that did not change its tax rates? Were there just as many millionaire tax returns in 2009 as in 2008 and 2007?

Posted by: Bob | Dec 22, 2010 9:48:16 AM

This editorial contains three glaring falsehoods. (1) Data from the Oregon Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) makes very clear that this 10,000 return discrepancy is due to incomes declining as a result of the recession. (2) One-third of Maryland’s millionaires did not “vanish.” Just like in Oregon, the vast majority of these millionaires just became less rich (and were therefore no longer millionaires). And in fact, the WSJ already admitted this fact in March 2010. (3) Phil Knight sold a significant amount of Nike stock just four months after the Oregon tax increase took effect. So much for the Journal’s description of how “successful entrepreneurs” behave. These points are addressed in more detail in ITEP’s new report: http://www.itepnet.org/pdf/or_wsjmigration_1210.pdf

Posted by: Carl Davis | Dec 22, 2010 1:53:21 PM

As a CPA in Oregon a few observations: first, if you live in Vancouver but work in Oregon you still get hit with the Oregon income tax. You can dodge the capital gain tax but Oregon will still take its pound of flesh. Second, Oregon has essentially, before the tax increase, a flat rate of around 9%. So if you made 120K you would definitely pay more in federal than state unless you had some fed/state tax differences. My AGI is about 120 and I pay much more in Federal than state. Third, Oregon had some of the lowest entitiy taxes around and very little in the way of franchise taxes, unlike Texas. Unfortunately that has changed with the new law. Oregon also has no sales tax. Unlike Texas. Also there are more people in Dallas then in the entire state of Oregon and more industry. So comparing them is not really that interesting. Fourth, Oregon has to balance the budget by law and has lost a lot of revenue. We cannot borrow and spend like the Federal Government. It has been hit hard by the recession so demand for services have increased and revenues declined. No one will vote in a sales tax, property taxes are high enough and you can only get some much from taxing beer and cigarettes. And no one here believes the lie that you cut taxes to raise revenue. And finally, many of us opposed the tax increases but someone has to pay and the poor and middle class do not have the money. So that leaves the high earners. And yes, we will lose some of them but that is the price you pay for a recession. Most people live here because they do not want to live in Texas or some simular state. Quality of life has a price.

Posted by: George W | Dec 22, 2010 1:56:11 PM

Wow Bob and Carl, getting a little defensive are we? . Those people already pay more than their fair share. Your denial that this will affect where and how the rich will live is just typical of leftist reality distortion. Soon your little socialist utopia will be much more like Mexico, which has been socialist for many many decades. They ran out of other people's money a long time ago. You will very soon. You may not think of Mexico as socialist, but it's current state is inevitable result of 100 years of PRI socialism.

Posted by: Lakelevel | Dec 22, 2010 3:08:41 PM

You Oregon defenders can keep right on thinking that your tax hike wont drive jobs and taxpayers from your state. But when your fools paradise goes broke, just like CA, dont come begging to us for a bailout, because you wont get any. I am a firm beleiver that fools should pay a price for their foolishness.

Posted by: richard40 | Dec 22, 2010 3:16:21 PM

"Quality of life has a price." An inane statement heard from an elite of the ruling class.

"but someone has to pay...." The last sound heard before (name your country) crumbled.

Posted by: JackWayne | Dec 22, 2010 3:22:28 PM

As for the contrary views...when is "It's the Economy Stupid" going to stop working? The facts are that there were 34,000 less people making over $100k. Where are the facts to support that this was caused by a recession rather then by economic policy?

Both sides are making suppositions...the difference is that the High Tax Chases Out Millionaires crowd have actual facts. Such as the migration of people from high tax to low tax states (you geniuses _did_ read today's census report, right?), the research done on Maryland and statistics which show that low tax states are creating jobs and high tax states are not. Still, it isn't proof positive.


"How about a comparison to a state that did not change its tax rates? Were there just as many millionaire tax returns in 2009 as in 2008 and 2007?"

This is an outstanding research project. It should be done because it will shed great light on taxation and migration. Although didn't Mick Jagger move here when the UK taxes went to near 100%?

"Most people live here because they do not want to live in Texas or some simular(sic) state. Quality of life has a price."

That price may just be the loss of wealth creators.

Also, it should be noted that the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy is an advocacy organization and not a research organization. It receives money from The Open Society Institute; which is funded by George Soros. It's, the ITEP's, reason for existence is to prove that the wealthy need to pay more taxes.

Posted by: Quilly Mammoth | Dec 22, 2010 3:23:18 PM

@Donna: I live in Oregon and work in Vancouver, WA. There's one huge flaw with your devious plan: I-5. The commute from Vancouver to downtown Portland or the westside burbs is horrible. The financial savings, IMO, isn't worth the quality of life hit that the daily drive would entail.

Posted by: Jason | Dec 22, 2010 3:25:52 PM

"Texas, the state that leads the nation in job creation—and has a top income and capital gains tax rate 11 percentage points lower than Oregon's."

Just to be clear, there is no state income tax or capital gains tax in Texas.

Posted by: Steve Koch | Dec 22, 2010 3:26:06 PM

I moved to Portland in 2001 from Boston. My husband and I now pay the higher income tax rate. That's the final straw for us with Oregon, and we're pulling up stakes in 2012 and moving to Texas. It'll take us another 18 months to wrap up everything here, sell the house and move full-time into our new and much nicer home on Lake Travis near Austin. I can't wait: I love Texas! Oregon is locked in a liberal death spiral, not unlike California's. The "quality of life" described above has disappeared for us, what with taxes, liberal politics, unfriendly & intolerant (to conservatives) people and horrible weather. I can't wait to see Oregon in our rear-view mirror permanently. Good riddance.

Posted by: JJ | Dec 22, 2010 3:29:01 PM

Apparently the idea of reducing spending never occured to people talking about the "price you pay for a recession".

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev | Dec 22, 2010 3:30:41 PM

The "Blue Oregon" rebuttal makes some good points but I think it is too early to tell. Let's look at the results for 2010 & 2011 when the data comes in. I think the data will then support the WSJ editorial. Is there anyone in the Blue states that doesn't believe in a free lunch?

Posted by: Otto Maddox | Dec 22, 2010 3:31:51 PM

I don't get it: the data in the ITEP piece seems to support the WSJ. Those earning >$500K were 36% below estimates while those filing 200-500K and 100-200K were 19% and 14% below estimates respectively. It takes a great leap of faith to believe that because total filers are up 1.7% (about the same as population growth for the period) that this means the very same rigid set of taxpayers have seen their income drop. There is at least correlation between the progressive tax rates and progressive drop in tax filers at higher incomes.

The blogpost rebuttal is even shoddier - if higher income folk know there is likely to be a tax rise some of them are going to leave before the tax comes in! Do an inordinate amount of socialists get skewered in Pamplona?

Posted by: ChrisJ | Dec 22, 2010 3:48:49 PM

I love the ignorant counter-argument embraced by posters like "Bob" and his friends at ITEP. "They really didn't move to Texas or "vanish", they just became "less rich"". For the purposes of the state of Oregon the effect is exactly the same. The "rich" will simply modify their behavior in order to prevent the punitive tax policies imposed on them by their greedy left-wing neighbors:

"Internal Revenue Service data show that there were 206 people who reported annual incomes of one million dollars or more in 1916. But, as the tax rate on high incomes skyrocketed under the Woodrow Wilson administration, that number plummeted to just 21 people reporting a million dollars a year in income five years later.

What happened to all those millionaires? Did they flee the country? Were they stricken with fatal diseases? Did they meet with foul play?

Not to worry. Right after Congress enacted the cuts in tax rates that Mellon had been urging, there were suddenly 207 people reporting taxable incomes of a million dollars or more in 1925. As Casey Stengel used to say, "You could look it up." It is on page 21 of an Internal Revenue publication titled "Statistics of Income from Returns of Net Income for 1925."

Where had all the income of those millionaires been hiding? In tax-exempt securities like state and local bonds, among other places."

Thomas Sowell

Of course, admitting that tax increases can actually result in a decrease in tax revenue runs counter to the left-wing narrative and must be strictly denied, regardless of the evidence.

Posted by: Che is dead | Dec 22, 2010 3:53:10 PM

It's unlikely that so many people relocated, esp. so fast. What they did, is change the way they handle their assets and take income, to reduce their income subject to these taxes. A business owner would pay himself less in salary and leave the money in the business, pay a child in the business more and himself less, etc. And, move some money from taxable to tax-advantaged assets.

Re Carl Davis's comment---this action makes it look like income has declined but it's just TAXABLE income. That's a huge flaw in the Pickety-Saez work that purports to show hugely increasing inequality---they use IRS taxable income and when you look at the year-to-year data it jumps all over the place in a way that makes no sense in terms of economic conditions, but that inversely fits changes in high-end tax rates, cap gains treatment, etc. very well. And of course, Knight selling stock and taking his gains BEFORE the tax increase fits perfectly.

Watching liberals try to fit tax and economic policy into their prejudices is like watching a 10-month-old try to stand up and walk---kinda cute and endearing, but they just can't do it and you worry someone will get hurt.

Posted by: Marty | Dec 22, 2010 4:04:25 PM

The politicians just don't get it. People can and often do move with their feet. Successful people do not want the government to destroy their lives so they often try to move away from oppressive government. That's why the Free State Project was started. Now people that get it are moving to New Hampshire because it's the freest state in the nation ( http://mercatus.org/publication/freedom-50-states-index-personal-and-economic-freedom ). Fourteen of the recent movers to NH are currently serving as State Representatives in NH because they are trying to make sure NH doesn't go down the horrible road OR is traveling full speed ahead down. That includes a husband and wife from that area.

Vote with your feet if needed and Live Free or Die,
Keith

Posted by: Keith | Dec 22, 2010 4:10:54 PM

So the people charged with figuring these things out don't take into account that 1) people can move or 2) in a down economy there will be less to tax? Or is the real answer 3) they're just pencil pushers who are required by law to make things look good on paper even if their plan has no chance of working in the real world?

Posted by: Joe Miller | Dec 22, 2010 4:11:18 PM

If the decrease in millionaires is due to the rich leaving the state then we'd see a greater rate of decrease of millionaires in Oregon than in the rest of the country. I tried to do this exercise for Maryland I couldn't find the relevant data easily.

I discovered that overall, Maryland didn't have good records for seeing what the consequences of the state's new taxes were. There no record of sales tax receipts of areas bordering Delaware or clothing stores near Pennsylvania. Budget data is presented after the fact only; no projections to compare to.

It may be that millionaires are leaving but Maryland didn't make it easy to ascertain whether or not that happened.

Posted by: David | Dec 22, 2010 4:12:21 PM

"Most people live here because they do not want to live in Texas or some simular state. Quality of life has a price."

I've lived in the North Wet and in Texas. Texas is superior in every way. But you just go ahead on and think your quality of life is better. One of the best things about Texas is the notable absence of Oregonians, so you keep 'em.

Posted by: Hucbald | Dec 22, 2010 4:19:34 PM

Clearly, the solution is to hike the tax 33% more, to make up for the revenue shortfall.

Posted by: Neil | Dec 22, 2010 4:21:43 PM

"And no one here believes the lie that you cut taxes to raise revenue."

But they appear to believe the lie that it you raise taxes you raise revenue by the same amount, and that the higher taxes will produce no changes in lifestyle. (Interestingly enough this tends to fly in the face of argument about "sin" taxes as they are usually touted as high enough to produce behavioral changes, but taxing income produces no behavioral change, because that would be a lie)

Posted by: John | Dec 22, 2010 4:27:36 PM

"Texas...has a top income and capital gains tax rate 11 percentage points lower than Oregon's." Why not just say it? Texas has no income tax. State Sales and property tax, but no income tax on personal income from whatever source.

Posted by: Mack McM | Dec 22, 2010 4:31:11 PM

"Quality of life has a price."

Of course it does, which is why I would never live in Oregon, but would move to Texas in a heartbeat if given the chance. Oregon has pretty scenary, but the people are not friendly, the food is crappy, and the taxes are too damn high. Not to mention the real estate. And the weather. Did I mention the unfriendly people?

Posted by: J. Knight | Dec 22, 2010 4:34:02 PM

Donna,
You and your spouse don't have to have the same State of residence.

Posted by: Looking closely | Dec 22, 2010 4:35:20 PM

@Carl: "Most people live here because they do not want to live in Texas or some simular state. Quality of life has a price."

It does, and to preserve the high quality of life here in Texas we work hard to avoid adopting policies that I suspect you view as "only fair".

Old Texas advice:
"Never ask a man if he’s from Texas. If he is, he’ll tell you. If he isn’t, don’t embarrass him.”

Posted by: Over50 | Dec 22, 2010 4:55:39 PM

George W. is completely correct about not being able to move income out of Oregon so easily, as is Marty about restructuring to avoid profits. But Oregon has a few problems with this kind of tax and that is that its main city, Portland, is on the border with a no income tax state (Washington), and that it has very little industry. In other words it is not terribly difficult to locate a high revenue business outside of Oregon.

That this, anti business attitude, has been a consistent problem for the state is also apparent in its history of development. Oregon was the first large center of population and industry in the Pacific Northwest, but all around its margins, except in very6 remote, and infrastructure free, Northern California, its neighbors immediately across the border have significantly more development. Seattle has completely demolished Portland in the race for regional primacy, drive west of Boise and you can see the sudden death of development at the OR line, even Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities in SE WA have completely overgrown Oregon. Now of course WA is headed down that same self destructive path but they have a heck of a long way to go before they exceed Oregon.

The worst part is that Oregon's lack of sales tax which should boost retail in those parts of Oregon adjacent to the same out state population centers produces almost no benefit, because Oregon is puts up just enough planning and the above mentioned income taxes to make it not worthwhile to open retail just across the border in Oregon

Posted by: Roy | Dec 22, 2010 4:59:44 PM

Oregon only has 1.5 million people filing tax returns?

See the table at the bottome of the second "alternate views" link..

Posted by: wamk | Dec 22, 2010 5:04:58 PM

First California. Now Oregon. If the Washington state government drinks the koolaid, west coast millionaires will have nowhere to go.

Nothing says "you ain't welcome" to a millionaire so much as high taxes and a growing bureaucracy that doesn't know when to quit growing.

Posted by: Oregon Millionaire's Association | Dec 22, 2010 5:09:06 PM

"There's one huge flaw with your devious plan: I-5. The commute from Vancouver to downtown Portland or the westside burbs is horrible."
.
But Portland is building a new bridge across the Columbia with ... bike lanes. I am sure that will make everything better.

Posted by: wikiwiki | Dec 22, 2010 5:31:36 PM

I'm an Oregon CPA and prepare both personal and corporate taxes. I would dispute the notion that millionaires are leaving Oregon due to the small increase in upper income marginal tax rates.

I'm not sure what to say but I'm worried about our society when greed takes over as the predominant value. What matters most is what you have left after taxes. The folks with $1 million dollar incomes are doing very well relative to everyone else in our current recession.

Oregon, like many states is cutting educational funding, public safety, support for the elderly and disabled as well as many other services we all use (courts, elections, transportation, etc.). Where should the state get the money for these services if we don't ask those with the most to contribute the most?

Oregon's a fantastic place to live. It's a shame to think that someone would be so greedy that they'd move around to avoid paying their fair share.

I'm all for helping my clients save taxes but moving to a low tax state isn't much different than a corporation opening a PO Box in the Cayman Islands.

Posted by: Brian | Dec 22, 2010 6:24:06 PM

Just like in Oregon, the vast majority of these millionaires just became less rich (and were therefore no longer millionaires).

What we really don't know is out of those who became "less rich" because of the economy were close enuf after the haircut to shave off another $10-$50K and went "Galt" to make sure they came in under $250K.

Posted by: Sandy P | Dec 22, 2010 6:29:32 PM

Even if we assume that no millionaires left the state, the responses cited in the "update" ignore an essential problem with highly progressive income taxes. The revenue streams vary wildly with the state of the economy. California has found this out, to its regret.

That would be ok if the government accumulated a cushion in the good years and then spent it in the lean times. But most governments aren't capable of that. They spend all they have, and more, every single year.

Posted by: Bearcat | Dec 22, 2010 6:32:16 PM

Uh, Brian...

They *already* 'contribute' the most in taxes.

Even at a true flat rate tax, the guy who makes 10x income pays 10x in taxes

1000% more sounds like 'more' to me.

But that's not enough for you guys. You'd rather the person who makes 10x more pay *20x* more in taxes.
That's 'fair'??

In the argument about 'paying a fair share', the substitution of tax *rates* for actual dollars taken is the greatest bait and switch of all time.

And the Repubs are too stupid to make the point that explicitly.

Posted by: ns | Dec 22, 2010 6:42:46 PM

Brian,

I'm not sure what to say but I'm worried about our society when greed takes over as the predominant value.

You should be worried about our society when the lust for power and dominance over others becomes a virtue. Look at history. Greedy people don't kill. It's those who wrap themselves up in the greater good and higher values than the pursuit of personal wealth that kill millions.

It never ceases to amaze me that people like you consider greedy and evil someone who spends their life minding their own business, creating jobs and wealth for the entire society while taking as payment only what others will give them voluntarily for their work.

By contrast, you lionize those who spend their lives seeking only more and more political power so that they can impose their will on others by the force of the state. Neither do you care if those same people make themselves wealthy in process.

You know, the word "villain" originally meant an agricultural peasant who grew society's food and hurting no one while the word "noble" meant a trained killer who spent his life waging wars for selfish reasons. You've done the same thing as those long ago aristocrats, casting the productive as evil just because you want to take what they make.

You no more a good and unselfish person than those killers were. Me, I rather be a villain than a noble any day.

Posted by: Shannon Love | Dec 22, 2010 6:53:54 PM

wi ki wi ki,

There's some Kool-Aid dribbling down your chin.

Posted by: ridgerunner | Dec 22, 2010 7:05:12 PM

It's a shame to think that someone would be so greedy that they'd move around to avoid paying their fair share.

It's a shame that an educated person doesn't understand the meaning of the word "fair".

but moving to a low tax state isn't much different than a corporation opening a PO Box in the Cayman Islands.

Seriously? So with your logic, if Oregon raised it's tax rate to 50% of gross income, no deductions, any person or business that left the state would be guilty of tax evasion and of committing a felony.

Posted by: Joe | Dec 22, 2010 7:24:55 PM

"First California. Now Oregon. If the Washington state government drinks the koolaid, west coast millionaires will have nowhere to go."

Washington keeps refusing to drown in the progressive kool-aid by voting down the income tax. Its the only thing limiting our government really.

And I do so love the 'fair share' comments. You know, if you feel as though it is fair for your to pay more as your fair share, well, all governments will gladly accept a personal check. Please don't volunteer my income to address your sense of 'fairness'.

Posted by: Mike | Dec 22, 2010 7:57:16 PM

So, two (alleged) CPAs from Oregon comment, and they're both idiots? What are the odds?

"I'm not sure what to say but I'm worried about our society when greed takes over as the predominant value." Chuckles, the only greed on display here is that of the Oregonians who think theft is legal. What right do you have to another's property?

"Oregon, like many states is cutting educational funding, public safety, support for the elderly and disabled as well as many other services we all use (courts, elections, transportation, etc.)." Because, slowboy, that's what governments do when revenues drop. They don't cut layers of management and bloat like a business, they cut functions that people notice and complain about. Just how naive are you?

"Where should the state get the money for these services if we don't ask those with the most to contribute the most?" So, if you have more than I do, it's perfectly fine with you that I come take what I want?

You really belong in Oregon, I have no doubt that you fit right in.

"No one will vote in a sales tax, property taxes are high enough and you can only get some much from taxing beer and cigarettes." Translation: the low-hanging fruit has been picjed, and we're still greedy bastards. Who else can we steal from?

"And no one here believes the lie that you cut taxes to raise revenue." So, in Oregon, a demonstrable fact is a lie? Sounds too...nuanced to me.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel - Brian and George are a veritable fount of moronic left-wing cliches. It's good that they live in Oregon where helpless species like that are protected. Let's hope they can't reproduce.

Sorry for the venom - but (1) they earned it and (2) I'm tired of juvenile drivel like that being passed off as some kind of thoughtful, "educated" observation.

Posted by: alanstorm | Dec 22, 2010 10:57:31 PM

Mike@7:57:16 is right. One other thought, what is 'greed?' Is it when the individual, who earns it, spends it, or is it when the government, which lusts after it, takes it. Gov'ts don't earn taxes.

Posted by: Mike H. | Dec 22, 2010 11:34:31 PM

I'm shocked- SHOCKED- that millionaires in supposedly deep blue Oregon would object to paying higher taxes.

Gosh darn their fiendish self-interest!

;-]

Posted by: Jones | Dec 23, 2010 2:29:35 AM

From comments I have just seen the best argument against higher taxes. If we have sin taxes to stop certain behaviors why do we not believe that raising income taxes won't affect the income earner's behavior?

Posted by: Quilly Mammoth | Dec 23, 2010 12:20:23 PM

Who would want a CPA preparing their taxes when that CPA has a strong social agenda of opposing "greed" (people doing what is best for themselves) and taxing the rich, because they have it? Would there be some point at which that preparer would say, consciously or subconsciously, "Well, that's enough deductions for them. Society needs their money more."

Even liberal taxpayers that I know prefer tax preparers who are conservative, because they know that the conservatives will watch out for their money.

Posted by: Woody | Dec 23, 2010 1:46:43 PM