Paul L. Caron

Friday, September 25, 2015

Taxpayers Flee Democrat-Run States For Republican Ones

Americans for Tax Reform, Taxpayers Fleeing Democrat-Run States for Republican Ones:

In 2013, more than 200,000 people on net fled states with Democrat governors [led by New York, Illinois, California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts] for ones run by Republicans [led by Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Arizona], according to an analysis of newly released IRS data by Americans for Tax Reform. 

"People move away from high tax states to low tax states. Every tax refugee is sending a powerful message to politicians," said ATR President Grover Norquist. "They are voting with their feet. Leaders in Texas and Florida are listening. New York and California are not."

That year, Democrat-run states lost a net 226,763 taxpayers, bringing with them nearly $15.7 billion in adjusted gross income (AGI). That same year, states with Republican governors gained nearly 220,000 new taxpayers, who brought more than $14.1 billion in AGI with them.

Only one-third of states with Democrat governors gained taxpayers, compared to three-fifths of states with Republican governors.

(Hat Tip: Daily Caller.)

Tax, Think Tank Reports | Permalink


Easy, Lanceman. Respect for property presupposes respect for property rights.

Posted by: Mike Petrik | Oct 1, 2015 11:36:26 AM

"Tolerance of difference".

"Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society"

I often wonder why a democrat never has to fear his car being damaged or personal property destroyed over a bumper sticker.

Posted by: Lanceman | Sep 27, 2015 7:54:23 PM

These states are just gaining more progressives who will recreate the cesspools they are now fleeing.

Posted by: Sawg | Sep 27, 2015 2:49:29 PM

While this report may show the truth, I doubt it shows the whole truth. Yes, the states with republican governors did show more influx than those with democratic governors, But most of those states are in the warmer regions of the country, and that I'm sure plays a large part in the process. Especially in light of the brutality of the last 2-3 years winters in New England. As for the fact that the states people are moving to have lower gross income levels, well, yes and no. The average income might be lower, but again, dollar signs alone do not portray the whole picture. The cost of living in CT, MA, NY and CA are considerably higher across the board than they are in those states with the highest influx of people. Lower income in a state with a lower cost of living does not necessarily mean you taking a "pay cut" per se.

Posted by: Robert Chartier | Sep 27, 2015 5:52:20 AM

For you blue state apologists, I’d like to rephrase a question one of our peers has asked about law school, “Would you advise your children to start their careers in: California, Illinois, or New York? Or, would they be better off in, say, Utah or Texas?”

I know Big-Law couples who work in the bay area and jointly make roughly $400k, who will NEVER be able to buy a home. In Palo Alto, an 800 sq ft condo, without assigned parking, goes for $1 million. It doesn’t get any better in the east bay area. So, please tell me how this is a sustainable model?

I have loved California since I first heard the Beach Boys in the early '60s. And, once upon a time, I yearned to be young and rich in California. I later changed this to just being rich in California. Currently, I prefer to rent by the day and then fly home to Texas.

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Sep 26, 2015 9:14:26 AM

I am one of those blue state refugees, having fled Chicago for Austin about a year ago. I estimate just on taxes alone (income, property, sales) it will net me just a smidge over $20,000 in extra disposable income this year.

Posted by: David Burge | Sep 26, 2015 7:15:06 AM

I undestand Professor Caron's move from Ohio to California was prompted by a preference for Democratic Governor Brown over Republican Kasich.

Posted by: Justin | Sep 26, 2015 4:12:47 AM

Don't be an economic locust. Don't vote Democrat once you get to your new state.

Posted by: Geoff | Sep 26, 2015 3:07:17 AM

Having lived in Massachusetts, California, Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Virginia, Maine, Alabama, Maryland, Hawaii, Nevada and Kentucky, I can say the “tolerance of difference” talk is more likely born out of liberal stereotypes than personal experience.

Posted by: FrancisChalk | Sep 26, 2015 1:10:49 AM

My father and step-mother, both retirees, are moving from NJ to FL, in 2015. It's mostly for the weather and to be closer to friends and family that had made the move. The tax advantages are on their list of reasons, but farther down. I don't expect they'll change their blue voting habits, at all.

Posted by: Michael_B | Sep 26, 2015 1:04:00 AM

"I'll take California over most of the "gainers" any time. Gorgeous weather, incredible intellectual energy, tolerance of difference."

Okay, tell folks in San Francisco that you're a firearms owner...or oppose SSM...or are a Christian...or are a conservative Republican...and then see how much "tolerance of difference" you receive.

Posted by: MarkJ | Sep 26, 2015 12:56:10 AM

I've also been staying here for my kid and elderly mom. My mom died a few days ago. We'll be done building my kid's house in a few months. Then ta ta CA for a state that won't regulate me into oblivion.

Posted by: RightWingNutter | Sep 26, 2015 12:22:14 AM

I love the guys here who don't get it: my internet job can move anywhere. I only stay in California for my kid and my elderly mom.

No, its not the weather....LOL.

Posted by: Harun | Sep 25, 2015 9:59:43 PM

"You're not actually taking your income to another state. The job remains where it is."

I brought my Silicon Valley job and salary to Texas with me. So have lots of other people I know. Huge regional footprints for Cisco, Oracle, HP, Amazon. Toyota decamping to Plano from LA. More and newer house for the mkney, better public schools, lower gas and food prices, readable newspapers, no,state income tax. No fear of getting my car keyed for having a Republican bumper sticker. Yeah, y'all were that kind of people.

Posted by: furious | Sep 25, 2015 9:29:42 PM

My company is fleeing California for Texas and taking several thousand white collar jobs with it. The CEO finally saw the writing on the wall and decided its time to leave. Those who remain can look forward to higher taxes to pay for the train to nowhere, higher taxes to fund the gold-plated pensions of govt. workers, and higher taxes to continue paying for schools for illegals. Traffic will continue to get worse, while CARB raises fees to make driving your car even more expensive. Anyone with kids can forget about the kids having any chance of affording a house when they reach their 20's or 30's with real estate prices through the roof. The weather and beach ARE nice though.....

Posted by: SW | Sep 25, 2015 9:20:51 PM

Upstate NY is the WV or Mississippi of the 21st Century. Steel mills left Buffalo/Niagara Falls in the 1980's, GE and Kodak have left Syracuse and Rochester since. No new jobs created, huge outflow of the young and ambitious.
Us NC folks have a request- please stay away, we want to avoid your Yankee mistakes. Unless you have a factory and a whole lot of jobs.

Posted by: ubik | Sep 25, 2015 9:17:49 PM

Tolerance of difference means a lot when you're different...

Posted by: Chris W | Sep 25, 2015 9:07:03 PM

6,763 taxpayers got no relief

Posted by: Neo | Sep 25, 2015 8:41:39 PM

You're seriously reaching if "tolerance of difference" if one of your top criteria for choosing a state.

Posted by: Sartrus | Sep 25, 2015 8:16:04 PM

I've lived and wokred as an adult in Iowa, DC, Cali, Georgia and South Carolina. Why anyone would leave the South is beyond me. You can easily make 20% less and be much more comfortable (although with all the job opportunities, it isn't hard to find the same salary).

Posted by: Nate Hertel | Sep 25, 2015 8:00:14 PM

It's the usual Californication of formerly lovely places to raise a family. Just because they may be fleeing a blue-state model, it doesn't mean that they are leaving those principles behind. Many will bring the disease with them.

Posted by: Prospector | Sep 25, 2015 7:34:30 PM

Most people living in Illinois know that they should encourage their children to move elsewhere to have a reasonable chance at a good career, and to be free from disastrously bad state government burdened with debt it can never pay. Illinois demonstrates -- at the levels of state, county, and municipal governments -- that allowing any polity to be run almost exclusively by the Democratic Party for several decades results in the economic and social dissolution of that polity.

Posted by: Bengoshi | Sep 25, 2015 7:29:26 PM

You people cannot add. Migrants and low skilled individuals don't make on average $62,000 in AGI. That is the average tax filer AGI that left blue states. Or if we assume families of 4 that is and AGI of 248,000. How many migrants, low skilled households of 4 do you know that have AGI of 248,000?

Posted by: Jeffrey | Sep 25, 2015 7:26:30 PM

Yeah, high tax states like Illinois and California are doing great:

--When I grew up in the north suburbs of Chicago in the 1960s and ’70s, Illinois was still a‎ financial and industrial powerhouse. The Land of Lincoln had a low-rate flat income tax, the property taxes were reasonable, the state ran budget surpluses, and Illinois was the home of such iconic megaemployers as Caterpillar, Sears Roebuck and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The public schools were pretty good back then and a dedicated corps of teachers put kids first – they didn’t walk out on strike, and they didn’t have the fat pensions they can get now when retiring at age 55.

Mayor Richard Daley (“the Boss”) ruled Chicago for decades, and it was “the city that works.” Yes, you had to pay off the unions to get things done, but this was a cost of doing business. Things did get done.

Fast forward to today, and what a sad state of affairs. Last week the state, had to sheepishly announce that it doesn’t even have the money in the bank to pay lottery winners. Now jackpot winners are suing the state to get their rightful money.

Perhaps the state will need a second lottery to raise money to pay off the winners from the first lottery.‎

Chicago is so broke that its bonds are junk status, and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel had to go hat in hand last week to the state capital, Springfield, for bailout money to pay the bills.--

Posted by: Mkelley | Sep 25, 2015 7:26:16 PM

You're not actually taking your income to another state. The job remains where it is. You hope to get a better job at the destination. I'm staying in California and my income is just below the upper tax brackets. Unless I get laid off, I'm likely to remain here until retirement.

Posted by: TedG | Sep 25, 2015 7:25:27 PM

I'll take California over most of the "gainers" any time. Gorgeous weather, incredible intellectual energy, tolerance of difference. The ATF's pick-and-choose statistic is silly. The relevant number is per capita after-tax income. On this metric, California beats the "gainers" hands-down.

Technically, the reason California, New York, Illinois, etc. show a net population loss to red states is probably that they serve as ports of entry to the United States. Immigrants tend to arrive here first, and then move on. If they all stayed, we'd be bursting at the seams. But this has nothing to do with taxes.

Posted by: Theodore Seto | Sep 25, 2015 10:03:51 AM

Connecticut and Massachusetts are both in the top 5 for median household income; CA is #10, and NY and IL are both in the top 20. Conversely, Texas is 26th, Arizona is 30th, Florida is 37th, and the Carolinas bracket 40th. If people are moving for work, it's for less pay. My guess is the exodus is mostly retirees and low-skilled workers shut out of the healthier economics of the Northeast and California.

Posted by: Unemployed Northeastern | Sep 25, 2015 9:43:17 AM

All the "gaining" states are Sun Belt; the only "losing" Sun Belt state is California. Perhaps they are fleeing taxes; perhaps instead or in addition they are fleeing snow and cold?

Posted by: Michael Waggoner | Sep 25, 2015 8:41:22 AM