Americans “Vote with Their Feet” Against Higher Taxes

(p. A15) The Tax Foundation’s 2021 State Business Tax Climate report ranks California’s state and local taxes as the second highest in the nation, just below New Jersey and above New York. People are fleeing these states.

. . .

I analyzed all 50 states’ net domestic migration levels and compared those levels with each state’s overall tax ranking. The ranking includes a weighing of taxes on corporate profits, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance.

The 10 states with the lowest taxes gained an average of 948 per 100,000 total population. For states that ranked 11th through 20th on taxes, the average was 457. For states ranking 21st to 30th, the gain was only 97. Net domestic migration turned negative for states ranking 31st to 40th with a loss of 141. And for the 10 states with the highest taxes, the average loss was 809 per 100,000.

These findings strongly reinforce the popular saying that people vote with their feet. They will leave places with relatively high taxes for those with lower levies. It may surprise Mr. Newsom, but people generally want to keep more of the money they earn.

For the full commentary, see:

James L. Doti. “Californians Aren’t the Only Tax Refugees.” The Wall Street Journal (Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023): A15.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date January 11, 2023, and has the same title as the print version.)

The Tax Foundation’s report mentioned above is:

Walczak, Jared, and Janelle Cammenga. “2021 State Business Tax Climate Index.” Washington, D.C.: Tax Foundation, 2020.

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